Natural products as biopesticides for sustainable foodstuff pest control
Abstract: Foodstuff pests are a global issue and cause of the loss of huge quantities of preserved food worldwide. Currently, their control mainly relies on synthetic insecticides, which, however, are not environmentally sustainable and may affect human health. Thus, alternative eco-friendly and safe practices, are strongly encouraged.Recently, strong efforts are being made to identify and characterize natural products with insecticidal and/or repellent activity against insect pests. Those products defined biopesticides are a broad group that include botanicals (essential oils and vegetal extracts), natural inert dusts as well as microorganisms derived compounds. Generally, their low toxicity, no residues in food, and high efficacy at low concentration make the use of biopesticides highly promising.Currently, the relatively high cost and the variability of effectiveness make biopesticides a niche product in the insecticide market. However, new formulation strategies are being evaluated and, even if it is unlikely that biopesticides will replace chemical food protection within the next years, it is certain that the number of biopesticides-based products will increase and the costs will fall guaranteeing an increasing place in the market for them for the near future.