The BIOFUNTECH project develops a biofungicide to reduce losses in the fruit harvest

BIOFUNTECH is a project of BETA TC financed by the Tecniospring INDUSTRY program of ACCIÓ

One of the main problems faced by the agricultural sector in Catalonia and Spain is the economic losses caused by the pathogenic fungus Monilinia frutícola. This fungus creates a brown rot that affects fruit, mainly stone fruit, in the pre-harvest and post-harvest periods. In order to reduce these losses, Rosa Vilaplana, coordinator of the Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems Unit of the BETA Technology Center, has developed the BIOFUNTECH project.

Rosa Vilaplana explains that in conventional agriculture the control of the fungus Monilinia fructicola is currently done mainly in a prevention phase and chemical fungicides are used, “although there is no chemical product on the market that has a great effectiveness in controlling the growth of this pathogenic fungus”. In order to achieve a non-chemical alternative, the Biofuntech project has tested different natural products, the combination of which has shown efficacy against the growth of this microorganism. The product was tested on stone fruit, specifically on peaches and nectarines, and the results were positive, especially in the post-harvest effect. The result has been a product that is currently being worked on for patenting and scaling up for commercialization. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but the prospects are good,” explains Rosa Vilaplana.

BIOFUNTECH is a project of the BETA Technology Center and funded by the Tecniospring INDUSTRY program of ACCIÓ, which offers resources to TECNIO centers and companies for the recruitment of research personnel, giving them the possibility of directing a research project for two years.