Unique bio-pesticide for tackling post-harvest food waste and insecticide residues is shortlisted for global crop protection award

5th September 2012

Exosect's innovative technology to control insect pests in grain storage is shortlisted for the Agrow Awards.

Winchester – UK - Exosect, a leading provider of Intelligent Pest Management solutions, has announced that its unique technology for controlling insect pests in grain stores, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Best Formulation Innovation’ category of the Agrow Awards, to be held in London on November 7th.

The awards ceremony, being held at the Hotel Russell, Bloomsbury in London, aims to reward innovation and excellence in the crop protection and crop production industry. For this award category the judges are looking for an innovation that could lead to improved product efficacy through enhanced delivery or targeting, improved user safety, or reduced environmental impact. This formulation addresses all three improvements.

The formulation being developed comprises Exosect’s platform technology, Entostat powder, (a unique food grade wax powder which acts as a delivery mechanism for a range of active ingredients), and the entomopathogenic fungi*, Beauveria bassiana (Bb). This particular fungi is found naturally in UK soil and grain stores and is active against grain beetles, weevils and other stored grain insects. A naturally occurring organism, Bb is very effective and safe but it can be difficult to produce and maintain. Delivering an effective dose to the target pest has until now proven to be a significant barrier due to its limited shelf life which makes this formulation a significant breakthrough. 

The bio-pesticide is being developed to address the issue of waste in post-harvest grain stores caused by insect pests, growing resistance to insecticides and residues in food. In the last decade, protecting grain in storage has become increasingly difficult due to the phase out and removal of key pesticides and fumigants including Methyl bromide, an ozone depleting compound.

Exosect is leading the development project as part of a consortium funded by the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board*, and includes Sylvan Bio*, a specialist in high quality mass production of fungi, Fera*, CABI* and Check Services*.

Martin Brown, Managing Director at Exosect comments, “The other contenders in this award category are very strong but we have high hopes for our product not least because of the enormous benefits it could bring in addressing insecticide resistance and residues and food waste. At a time of genuine concern over global food security, the drought this summer in the US and Eastern Europe and subsequent global food price spikes illustrates the importance of protecting our grain after it has been harvested”.



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Background information

*Entostat powder is the platform technology for Exosect’s range of products. Derived from a natural ‘food grade’ wax which is sustainably  harvested from palm trees, Entostat powder acts as a delivery system for a wide range of chemistry.

As the name suggests “Entostat” powder exhibits electrostatic properties. Even through very slight movement, it develops an electrostatic charge. Insects similarly develop an electrostatic charge as they fly through air or walk across physical surfaces. When placed in contact with insects, the powder adheres to them and can be passed from one insect to another through direct contact. This patented platform enables the use of very low doses of active ingredient and has potential applications in many sectors.

*Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and is pathogenic to a range of arthropod species.

*Entomopathogenic fungus is a fungus that can act as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them.

The consortium

*Sylvan Bio

Sylvan Bio is engaged in the business of producing a wide variety of fungal cells using solid-substrate fermentation technology.

As a recognised leader in the field, Sylvan’s expertise is founded upon extensive experience in culture isolation and maintenance, research and development, quality control, commercial propagation, and customised formulation and packaging technologies. This unique blend of skills enables the company to manufacture products of exceptional quality and consistency.

Sylvan currently produces a variety of products for use in agricultural and health care applications. Our capabilities include the production of both mycelial based products and the concentration of fungal spores. It is also engaged in the concentration of secondary metabolites derived from fungal cells.

Sylvan has partnered with universities, research organisations, and businesses in the development and commercialisation of new biotechnologies and products. With production facilities and staff in both North America and Europe, it is well-positioned to address a wide spectrum of developmental and regulatory issues across a diverse geographical base. For further information visit www.sylvaninc.com



The Food and Environment Research Agency's over arching purpose is to support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and to protect the global community from biological and chemical risks.

Our role within that is to provide robust evidence, rigorous analysis and professional advice to Government, international organisations and the private sector.

Climate change, food security and environmental sustainability are presenting the UK and indeed all other countries around the world, with significant, complex and often interrelated challenges. The Food and Environment Research Agency plays a vital role, increasingly on a world stage, in anticipating the issues, assessing the risks and gathering the evidence to guide policy response. For further information please visit www.fera.defra.gov.uk


CABI is a not-for-profit international organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Our mission and direction is influenced by our member countries who help guide the activities we undertake. These include scientific publishing, development projects and research, and microbial services


*Check Services

Check Services Ltd provides a wide range of pest control services to commercial premises, specialising in the Food and Allied Industries. Check Services can supply bespoke services designed to suit the client’s specific requirements.

They service a number of well-known hotel chains, supermarkets and food manufacturing companies including some of the largest bakeries, mills and cereal manufacturers in the UK.

They are extremely experienced in dealing with third party auditors, providing services that comply with customers' requirements. Their on-site service and reporting systems are regularly audited by various organisations including: Food Industry - BRC, AIB, Marks and Spencer, EFSIS, Soil Association and Tesco. Pharmaceutical Industry - FDA, MRHA. For further information please visit http://www.checkservices.co.uk

*Technology Strategy Board

 The Technology Strategy Board is all about driving innovation. Our role is to stimulate technology-enabled innovation in the areas which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity. We promote, support and invest in technology research, development and commercialisation. We spread knowledge, bringing people together to solve problems or make new advances.

We advise Government on how to remove barriers to innovation and accelerate the exploitation of new technologies. And we work in areas where there is a clear potential business benefit, helping today's emerging technologies become the growth sectors of tomorrow.

Our vision:

For the UK to be a global leader in innovation and a magnet for innovative businesses, who can apply technology rapidly, effectively and sustainably to create wealth and enhance quality of life.

The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), established by the Government in 2007 and sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The activities of the Technology Strategy Board are jointly supported and funded by BIS and other government departments, the devolved administrations, regional development agencies and research councils.


Agrow Awards 2012 Shortlist - http://awards.agrow.com/agrow-awards-shortlist/


Previous press releases regarding this project


24 April 2012 - Exosect initiates first full scale trials of leading-edge biopesticide to control grain store insects

14 February 2012 - Exosect secures exclusive licence for fungal isolate from Fera

25 May 2011 - Exosect forms collaborative agreement with Sylvan Bio

10 November 2010 - Exosect presents update on mycoinsecticide delivery project at biocontrol conference

2 August 2010 - Pioneering Green Grain Store Pest Control Product Moves
Closer To Commercialisation

7 February 2006 - Exosect Joins Defra Consortium to Create New Bio Pesticide
Solutions For Stored Grain Pests


Notes to Editors

About Exosect

Exosect is focused on the development of Intelligent Pest Management solutions. Its innovative and cost-effective products help growers, food manufacturers and processors to actively reduce their use of pesticides. These products are used globally in a wide range of sectors including crop protection (agriculture, horticulture and stored products), apiculture and public health. Exosect is a SOFHT (Society of Food Hygiene and Technology) award winner, a category winner in the Guardian Global Cleantech 100 awards and a finalist in the Agrow Awards. This and further news is available at: www.exosect.com

Our mission is to discover, develop & commercialise, safe, sustainable bio-conventional control solutions for the food industry, that protect food from insect damage and disease whilst reducing use of and dependence on traditional chemical pest control products.


For further information please contact: Georgina Donovan at Exosect.
Tel: 02380 603939 or email: georgina.donovan@exosect.com

Contact us: Send us an enquiry or call +44(0)845 199 5540
Unique bio-pesticide for tackling post-harvest food waste and insecticide residues is shortlisted for global crop protection award