Science

“An organic liquid spray which eliminates soft body bugs on contact”

Overview

  • Sucrose Octanoate Esters are intended to control mites and certain soft-bodied insects (e.g., aphids) on food and non-food crops, including certain ornamentals; media for growing mushrooms; and adult honey bees.
  • These kinds of sucrose esters are found naturally in plants, and were originally isolated from the hairs present on tobacco leaves. 
  • Since 1983, the FDA has allowed sucrose octanoate esters to be added to certain processed foods; thus no harmful effects to humans or the environment from the use of sucrose octanoate esters in insecticide products. 
  • The mixture of esters is manufactured from two biochemicals-sucrose (table sugar) and an octanoic acid ester (commonly found in plants and animals)
  • The mixture dissolves the waxy protective coating (cuticle) of target pests, causing the insect or mite to dry out and die.
  • Sucrose octanoate esters exert actions on biological systems. Substances are intended to control mites, ticks, and certain soft-bodied insect pests (e.g., aphids, caterpillars, glassy-winged sharpshooters) on food and non-food crops and livestock.  Sucrose octanoate is also approved for: 
  • controlling certain flies in media used for growing mushrooms. 
  • controlling Varroa mites on adult honey bees. 
  • The active ingredients degrade to harmless substances in the environment

Description of the Active Ingredient

Sucrose octanoate is an amber-colored liquid with biological properties. It decomposes in the environment to inert substances. It acts by disrupting the waxy outer layer (cuticle) of mites and various soft-bodied insects, causing the insect or mite to dry out and die. 

Susceptible pests include mites, ticks, aphids, caterpillars and glassy-winged sharpshooters. Sucrose octanoate esters occur naturally in plants.  The insecticidal properties were discovered when researchers investigated the reason tobacco leaves were not attacked by mites and certain insect pests. 

No risks to the environment from the label uses of sucrose octanoate insecticide products. The esters act only by direct physical contact with mites, ticks, and soft bodied insects; the substance is not toxic or otherwise harmful to mammals or other non-target organisms. The pest cannot build a resistance or an immunity for this reason. The solution biodegrades rapidly to harmless substances. (Water, fatty acids, CO2). 

            New organic chemistry, with no documented resistance, makes our product an excellent choice for pest management. Based on natural sugar esters, its unique mode of action makes holes in the target pest, causing rapid death from dehydration while leaving no residue in or on the areas it is applied.

Features, Advantages &; Benefits

  • Fast Acting – visible results minutes after application.
  • Deadly to hundreds of problem pests, including aphids, whiteflies, and mites.
  • Apply, harvest and eat fruits and vegetables the same day.
  • Gentle on beneficial insects.
  • Excellent prevention and infestation control on both ornamental and edible crops.
  • Pest control derived from natural plant sugars.

Some beneficial side benefits from our Product:

In recent decades, we have seen many agrochemical companies looking towards the usage of biological and natural product sources for insecticides and herbicides. Although rarely considered as effective as synthetic or even synthetic naturally derived products, the EPA has seen an increase in products that are either entirely natural or biologically created, and a decrease in products using synthetic oils, chemicals, or compounds. From 1997 to 2010, 35.7% of all new insecticides registered with the EPA were natural products, and 27.4% were biological[1]. On the other hand, synthetic products account for 30.7%, and synthetic natural derived products only accounted for 6.1%[2]. This comes as little surprise with the growing push for all organic, natural-based products in almost all markets. It is, indeed, an exciting new direction for the industry, and presents ample opportunities for cutting edge developments in natural insecticides and herbicides. 

It should be noted, however, that while some insecticides may be natural/organic, they are not automatically less toxic to the environment or ecosystems. Naturally occurring chemical compounds can still have adverse effects on unintended targets if not implemented correctly or responsibly. In some cases, a naturally occurring toxic chemical can be even more harmful to the environment because it can be harder to control. Presently, we will examine sucrose, or sugar, esters as they are the primary component of our insecticidal product, Organic Liquid Spray. Whereas most of our competitors use oil-based compounds, ours is liquid and utilizes naturally occurring esters. We will look at the past and projected studies of the effects of esters on insects and bee populations. Through a literature review, we will investigate how these different insecticidal compounds affect the populations of local bees.

What exactly is killing the bees?

This question is one of the most pertinent and pressing issues in all of agricultural science at the moment. There is still much debate as to specific causes, and in all truthfulness, the specifics vary from case to case. However, the root of the issue is various types of insecticides. The one that may be affecting bees the most is a synthetic natural derived compound called neonicotinoid. Neonicotinoids became the go-to primary active ingredient in most insecticides in the mid-1990s[3]. It replaced organophosphate as the most used ingredient in insecticides. Organophosphate is a chemical compound that was created in the mid-1800s but did not find widespread use until the mid-twentieth century[4]. It is a compound with high toxicity that can act as an insecticide but can also harm birds, animals, and even humans. While neonicotinoids are much safer for mammals and birds, they are still very toxic for insects. This, of course, makes them a perfect candidate for insecticide usage. It was not long after their introduction and mass implementation that we began seeing a significant decline in bee populations throughout the world[5].

Failure of present-day solutions

The startling decline in bee populations led to a recent ban on neonicotinoids by both the EPA and the European Union. However, both bans have since been lifted. The bans did little to reverse the trend in bee population decline, and newer studies showed that many other insecticides that were still on the market in place of neonics-based products are just as, if not more toxic to bee populations[6]. Another commonly blamed bee killer is the widespread usage of glyphosate-based herbicides. Glyphosate is known to disrupt gut functions in honey bees, and therefore may be just as harmful as any insecticide[7]. This leaves many researchers looking in the direction of more natural insecticide and herbicide options. However, these organic solutions must be handled with care and proper research as well. It has been noted that some organic fungicides such as copper sulfate have been proven to be far more toxic to bees than glyphosate[8]. Clearly, these chemical compounds are problematic, regardless of if they are synthetic, synthetic natural derived, or natural. The best option for preserving bees would be to discontinue the usage of all insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but this simply is not a viable option for most farmers. We need to keep experimenting with different ingredients. The world of agrochemistry is vast and there are still plenty of pathways to explore.

Organic Liquid Spray and sugar esters

            Our product, Organic Liquid Spray, is unlike any currently on the market. It is organic and liquid-based, making it an exciting new product line in the world of organic insecticides. While there is not as much preexisting research or field test literature on the effects of esters on the bee population, the research that does exist is generally positive. Sucrose ester-based insecticides have been gaining traction in the organic agrochemical industry. Some say that they do not provide enough toxicity to act as an effective insecticide. However, some studies have shown that, if done right, they can act as an effective deterrent for many unwanted insects. Studies found that tri- and tetra-substituted sucrose esters were effective in protecting potato crops against whiteflies[9]. While there needs to be more research conducted regarding their effect on bees specifically, the fact that esters are significantly less toxic than any synthetic or organic insecticides currently available holds promise that they might be the end-all solution, at least, as far as bee-friendly insecticides are concerned. 


[1] Charles L. Cantrall, Franck E. Dayan, and Stephen O. Duke. “Natural Products As Sources for New Pesticides.” Journal of Natural Products 75, no. 6 (05, 2012): 1231-242

[2] See above note.

[3]Dave Goulson, Jack Thompson, and Amy Croombs. “Rapid Rise in Toxic Load for Bees Revealed by Analysis of Pesticide Use in Great Britain.” PeerJ 6 (07, 2018). 

[4] Erika L. Robb “Organophosphate Toxicity.” StatPearls [Internet]. March 02, 2019. 

[5] See note 3.

[6] Yu Cheng Zhu, et al. “Spray Toxicity and Risk Potential of 42 Commonly Used Formulations of Row Crop Pesticides to Adult Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).” Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 108, no. 6, 2015, pp. 2640–2647.

[7] Erick V. S. Motta, Kasie Raymann, and Nancy A. Moran. “Glyphosate Perturbs the Gut Microbiota of Honey Bees.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115, no. 41 (09, 2018): 10305-0310. 

[8] Ruth Kava. “Organic Fertilizer Is Great at Killing Bees.” American Council on Science and Health. April 21, 2016. 

[9] Orestes T. Chortyk, et al. “Characterization of Insecticidal Sugar Esters OfPetunia.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 45, no. 1, 1997.