Nanotechnology can help producers extend shelf life of flowers

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Researchers at N&P, a startup based in Araraquara, São Paulo State (Brazil), began four years ago to develop a formulation with nanoparticles that extends the shelf life of citrus fruit. In the process, however, they discovered that flowers offer a better opportunity.

Having talked to specialists at FAPESP, which supports N&P’s project via its Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE), they decided to pivot to the flower industry and have now successfully brought a nanoparticle-based fertilizer to market.

The process began during PIPE Stage 1 when a flower co-op heard about the solution and invited the startup to test it on their farm. “This enabled us to validate the solution directly in the field with a producer. We moved ahead as a result and put the product on the market,” says Maicon Segalla Petrônio, co-founder and scientific director of N&P.

After three years of tests, the scientists arrived at the current product, a fertilizer combined with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and a ripening inhibitor that nourishes plants and extends their shelf life.


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