Chilean project aims to improve plant resistance to extreme weather
Chile's Agricultural Innovation Foundation (FIA) has launched an initiative to develop an antioxidant that can be applied to fruit crops, making them more resilient to weather-related shocks.
The goal of the project, headed up by Protein Corp Ltda, is to control the oxidative damages that can come from excessive cold, heat, water or pesticide usage.
The FIA sent a release announcing the end product would be applicable for all types of plants, such as peaches, avocados and cherimoyas, allowing for better post harvest life and conditions upon arrival in destination export markets.
The release said the move was triggered by the effects of variable weather, with an increasing frequency of extreme cold and hot temperatures.
"The possibility of having an input with high antioxidant levels that diminish the detrimental effects on productivity and product quality, constitutes a competitive factor for the national fruit industry in a time of increasing effects caused by climate change," said FIA innovation executive René Martorell.
The project also aims to standardize the product in terms of its chemical, functional and protean make-up, and also determine its antioxidant capacity.
Initiative coordinator Gloria Valderrama said the product would be evaluated through agronomic tests in winter on tomato and melon crops.
After these tests are completed, further testing will be done in controlled conditions in the field, assessing resistance to cold weather in terms of aging and the reduction of disorders such as browning.