MustGrow Secures Patent for Mustard-derived Sprout Suppression
MustGrow Biologics Corp. announced the exclusive patent licensing from the University of Idaho pertaining to a natural biopesticide mustard-based treatment of stored produce and other foods, particularly sprout suppression of potatoes.
Post-harvest sprout suppression is a key element of potato storage. The current annual European sprout suppression market is estimated at USD64m and over USD100m globally. The leading agrochemical product for sprout suppression, chlorpropham (“CIPC“), was banned by the European Union on Oct. 8, 2020. With this ban now effective, growers will be forced to refrigerate produce, adding an estimated USD150m expenditure annually in the European Union. The additional capital expenditure and refrigeration energy consumption make this temporary approach unsustainable. Although the ban was anticipated, few effective treatment alternatives have emerged – creating a major problem for existing potato storage sites.
MustGrow has exclusively licensed from the University of Idaho, U.S. utility patent number 10,588,321 titled “Mustard Meal to Inhibit Sprouting“, which was granted on March 17, 2020. The Patent claims to utilize the mustard plant’s active ingredient, allyl isothiocyanate (“AITC“), to control vegetable and potato sprouting without the use of harmful synthetic chemicals.
MustGrow is advancing a solution for the food storage industry (particularly potatoes and grains), combining expertise in mustard-derived AITC with the newly secured patent. The company has confirmed a broad array of AITC applications outside of its proven biopesticide function, including treatment of stored grains and sprout suppression. Additionally, MustGrow announced the appointment of Dr. Matthew J. Morra, a leading world expert on value-added products derived from oilseeds, as Scientific Advisor. One of three inventors on the Patent, Dr. Morra has extensive expertise in developing mustard-based biopesticides and is professor emeritus of soil biochemistry at the University of Idaho.
Morra commented: “Alternatives to potato sprout inhibition are in critical need as the U.S. moves towards eliminating CIPC. Mustard-derived biopesticides rely on a natural sprout inhibitor that meets the needs of the potato industry without the negative human health consequences of current synthetic sprout inhibitors.”