Bioinsecticide created in Argentina from sugar cane wins award

An Argentine company from the northern province of Tucumán, the national center of the sugarcane harvest, was awarded for creating the innovative and sustainable bioinsecticide and acaricide "Esten 80". It is based on food-grade ingredients such as sugar cane. It is biodegradable, has no residual effects or pest resistance, and is certified for organic agriculture.

Tensac, a Tucumán firm with three decades of experience, developed the product that won the first prize for innovation CITA 2023 in the Organic Agriculture category, awarded during the 135th International Livestock, Agriculture and Industry Exhibition, at the Argentine Rural Society in the city of Buenos Aires.

The renowned award, organized for the past 15 years by the International Center for Innovation in Agricultural Technology (CITA), is an important stimulus for innovation initiatives originating from entrepreneurs, industrialists and academics.

This year's nominees were more than 100 projects in 15 different categories, from 12 Argentine provinces, focused on the efficient productivity of the agricultural sector and aimed at sustainability.

Ten years of research

According to German Aralde, commercial manager of Tensac, the bioinsecticide "Esten 80" was registered in 2010 and put on the market in 2013.

"It had a strong R&D process and subsequent technical development for more than 10 years, with a lot of field work, and a path in which we were getting a lot of resistance to change."said the Tensac executive.

"Today this panorama is different, with a global market very much aligned to sustainability, and with marked demands for bioinputs in many productive, agricultural and industrial processes. This allows us, after many years of effort in R&D and technical development, to have two bioinsecticides on the palette, with commercial presence in five countries, to which we can add other countries that are in an early stage of development and subsequent registration process. Today, with distribution in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia and Israel. And with new work in the United States, Canada, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Italy". | German Araldecommercial manager of Tensac

Approved in the United States and the European Union

Aralde explained that "Esten 80" arose from a long investigation in which they determined that from the sugar molecule it is possible to develop a bioinsecticide suitable for organic agriculture, which controls multiple pests in more than 20 crops, without damage, and achieving fruits and vegetables without agrotoxins.

He noted that its greatest expansion"was on conventional, non-organic crops, crops that require the production and export of fruits or derivatives to markets with strict maximum residue limits (MRLs) such as the United States and the European Union, among others".

Also, "Esten 80" was one of six bio-based products nominated for the international "Bio-based Material of the Year 2020" award, selected by German multidisciplinary research consultancy nova Institut among 17 candidates from around the world for the "13th International Conference on Bio-based Materials", held online in May 2020.

Ricardo Chamorro
Ricardo Chamorro
Argentine journalist with accredited experience in the newspaper La Nación of Buenos Aires, in radios AM and FM Rivadavia, Continental, Ciudad, among others. He has written for ArgenTime magazine; he has participated as a journalist in Argentine television (Badía y Cía., news programs). He has also been a consultant in institutional press offices.

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