It is comprised of water; one or more natural starch components wherein at least one is corn starch; one or more emulsifiers, wherein one or more are selected from the group consisting of a sugar ester
, an alkylaryl glucoside, an alkylaryl alcohol, and a fatty alcohol and combinations thereof; and one or more emollients, wherein the one or more are selected from the group consisting of coco-caprylate, decyl-cocoate, tricaprylin and combinations thereof.
"After screening different sugar ester chemistries, we identified the most active chemical forms--ones that killed test insects instantly," says Puterka.
The first synthetic sugar ester patent, in which Puterka was named as co-inventor, was awarded in 2002.
Working with Ava Chemical, he identified a form of synthetic sugar ester that is readily water soluble, yet remains active in controlling insects.
They also ranked wild species of tobacco plants for their commercial potential as sources of a natural insecticide known as sugar esters. And they devised lookalike synthetic versions of the natural compounds that were the forerunner of a commercial version soon to be a registered insecticide.
Lactose-based esters, a class of sugar esters
, are environmentally friendly and can be synthesized using renewable resources, making them good choices as emulsifiers.
She found that it was mediated by droplets of sugar esters
, called aclysugars, that are produced and exuded from the hairs (trichomes) that cover the plants.
Sugar esters tested by ARS and university entomologists around the country could find use as environmentally friendly insecticides?
Now 4 years of testing have shown the sugar esters to be as good as--or better than--conventional insecticides against mites and aphids on apples; psylla on pears; whiteflies, thrips, and mites on vegetables; and whiteflies on cotton.
While the fogger applies sugar esters
in an effective manner, "current processing and production practices have been too expensive to make growing plants for their esters feasible commercially," says Jackson.
Maryland, identified as a group of sugar esters
the natural compounds found on the surface of leaves of Nicotiana gossei.