Global Agriculture

MustGrow Secures Patent for Fumigation of Stored Vegetables and Grains

23 November 2020, Saskatchewan, Canada: MustGrow Biologics Corp. is pleased to announce 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.

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Post-harvest sprout suppression is a key element of potato storage.  The current annual European sprout suppression market is estimated at US$64 million and over US$100 million globally(1).  The leading agrochemical product for sprout suppression, chlorpropham (“CIPC”), was banned by the European Unionon Oct. 8, 2020.  CIPC has long been the major global sprout suppressant, widely applied to stored potatoes.

With this ban now effective, growers will be forced to refrigerate produce, adding an estimated US$150 million expenditure annually in the European Union(1).  The additional capital expenditure and refrigeration energy consumption make this temporary approach unsustainable.  Although the ban was anticipated, no 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 issued/granted on March 17, 2020 (the “Patent”).  The Patent makes matter and method 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.  MustGrow has identified logical partners in relevant global regions based on food product characteristics and economics.

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Emerging literature, from a range of sources, has confirmed a broad array of AITC applications outside of its proven biopesticide function, including treatment of stored grains and sprout suppression.  MustGrow’s intellectual property suite is a platform for several crop protection categories and now stored food protection, aiming to disrupt global agriculture markets that have traditionally been dominated by synthetic chemicals.  MustGrow’s existing patent portfolio protects both method-of-use and composition-of-matterclaims for its signature mustard-derived approach to controlling soil-borne pests, diseases and weeds.

Additionally, MustGrow is pleased to announce 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.

 Dr. 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.”