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Extending fresh food shelf-life through novel plant-derived biofungicides for post-harvest treatments


Today up to a third of all food produced—and almost the 50% of fruits and vegetables (F&V)—perishes before being used with a consequent economic and environmental cost of $1.7 trillion.
Somewhere between the 20% and 40% of F&V are lost at postharvest stages, during handling, storage and distribution. Among causes, food spoilage due to fungal pathogens such as molds leads to substantial food waste and an estimated $100 billion of economic losses for producers, retailers and consumers.
Traditional control of fungal infection relies on preharvest (field) application of synthetic fungicides, but their use is being progressively banned and efficient natural alternatives are lacking on the market.
Moving from this scenario, AgroSustain has identified and patented more than 60 antifungal plant-derived compounds, getting to the formula of a new generation of highly-efficient and cost-effective natural fungicides. Our first product, AgroShelf+, shows an unprecedented fungitoxic efficacy against a wide range of mainly spread fungi, thus preventing postharvest fruit spoilage and extending the F&V shelf-life by a minimum of 7 days. This will allow food retailers and distributors using AgroShelf+ to greatly reduce their food loss costs and improving food quality for consumers.
Starting with Switzerland in 2020, AgroSustain plans to expand sales to other EU countries (France, UK and Germany).
During this Ph1 project we will optimize the product formulation in order to stress the AgroShelf+ performances targeting specific crops. We will also go through the first round of toxicity tests requested for the certification and regulative approval pathway. A cost-benefit analysis and a deeper market research will also consolidate our pricing strategy and business model. This will pave the way for the pilot test with large retailers in the Phase 2 project.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/business model
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology
  • /social sciences/economics and business
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/mycology/ethnomycology
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture/root crop
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/plant breeding/crops
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture/fruit

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1


Route De La Corniche 2
5584 Epalinges
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000