Abstract: 

The present device consists in a delivery system impregnated with essential oils (or their main active components) that, due to its antimicrobial and insecticide properties, will increase the stored products longevity, in particular against microorganisms and insects.

Background: 

Food safety is a major problem that concerns society nowadays. The current preservative techniques rely heavily on the action of synthetic pesticides which, in some cases, originate resistant food pathogens that lead to severe foodborne diseases. The proposed technology allows cost effective, safe and efficient food protection without environmental hazards. It consists in a “ready to use” device in containers, aiming the protection of stored products.

Benefits: 

This technology intends to exploit the potential of essential oil vapors for insecticide, fungicide and bactericide actions, using controlled release devices based on essential oils properties, which will increase the stored products longevity while maintaining their organoleptic properties. This is a method for protecting agricultural dry products during storage, consisting of a controlled release system of essential oils and a shell for allowing oil diffusion in vapour phase towards the outer atmosphere without direct contact of the support material with stored products.
The conceived solution relies on the propagation of the essential oil vapors into the container atmosphere, until saturation is reached, securing the foods stability through the whole storage period. The essential oils are impregnated on a permeable and inert material, functioning as reservoirs, in order to ensure a controlled - long term release of the vapors.

The proposed technology allows, in a cost effective manner:
- the increase of the storage period of stored products;
- to avoid the use synthetic pesticides;
- to avoid food intoxication;
- safe and efficient environmental protection.

Potential comercial use/applications: 

In many countries the use of pesticides is no longer allowed in storage conditions. Consequently, the development of a device for essential oils controlled release is a new approach for the industry.
These devices can be applied either in developed countries, in agreement with sustainable food safety demands by consumers, and in developing countries, where food safety and food security problems can be a major societal concern, justifying every technological improvement to preserve food, like the present one.
Also, companies which work with pesticide formulation, may be interested in buying or getting the license of this technology.