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Akorn Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation TECP Award for Innovative Natural Fungicides Platform

Akorn's clean-label coating is a natural, more effective fungicide option for oranges

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Akorn Logo 3

Providing natural fungicides in their coating means Akorn can help farmers and producers meet rising demand for natural inputs, ensuring our long-term success while safeguarding the environment.”
— Todd Haffield of IMG Citrus
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, February 13, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Akorn Technology, a leader in agricultural innovation, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships (TECP) award for their groundbreaking post-harvest natural fungicides platform. The award will enable Akorn to deliver a solution to three commercial partners in the U.S., Europe and Africa who are actively seeking all-natural options for the post-harvest control of green and blue mold on citrus.

This new award builds on Akorn’s success from two prior grants under the NSF’s SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research). Their revolutionary edible coating for fresh produce is based on a proprietary and patented vegetable protein technology that facilitates the addition of all-natural waxes and oils to provide the first edible coating with three active ingredients, that control ripening speed, moisture loss and color development. Akorn’s coating platform will now include a natural antifungals option as well.

The extensive use of synthetic post-harvest fungicides has caused the proliferation of resistant strains of phytopathogens and compromised the effectiveness of chemical treatments. Furthermore, the use of fungicides is increasingly unacceptable, owing to stringent regulation, carcinogenicity, high and acute residual toxicity, long degradation period, environmental pollution and growing public concern about chemical residues in fruit. Akorn’s solution contains multiple all-natural components, and their synergistic interactions reduce the likelihood of development of resistant strains. Because they are based on naturally derived essential oils, they meet consumers’ and retailers’ growing preference for clean-label food safety measures and are approved for use worldwide. The TECP award from the National Science Foundation recognizes Akorn's outstanding contribution to post-harvest fresh produce protection technology and reinforces its commitment to sustainable agriculture and the advancement of eco-friendly solutions for farmers globally.

Minimizing the use of chemical post-harvest fungicides on all fruit is growing in importance due to strong demand for natural and sustainable products, especially citrus destined for European and key Asian markets, and pressure is mounting in the USA as well. By investing in research and development of natural fungicides, Akorn’s far-reaching positive effects on the agricultural industry as a whole continue to grow.

With changing market, consumer and regulatory pressures for non-chemical solutions, importers are seeking a rapid transition toward natural fungicides over the coming years, presenting a unique opportunity for Akorn.

“By prioritizing the development of natural fungicides, Akorn is demonstrating a commitment to sustainable agriculture. Providing natural fungicides within their shelf-life extension coating means Akorn can help farmers and producers meet rising demand for natural inputs, ensuring our long-term success while safeguarding the environment,” said Todd Haffield, IMG Citrus

"We are honored to receive the TECP Award, which recognizes our commitment to advancing environmentally conscious agricultural solutions," said Anthony Zografos, PhD, Founder/CEO of Akorn. "This grant will play a crucial role in delivering our natural fungicide platform to our valued partner customers, empowering them with a sustainable and effective tool for crop protection. For the first time, fresh fruit packers will be able to easily add natural post-harvest antifungals on their packing lines. This grant will empower Akorn to accelerate our production and distribution, making the natural fungicides platform more accessible to farmers who seek an alternative, environmentally friendly approach to crop protection.”

Akorn remains committed to pushing the boundaries of agricultural innovation, and the TECP award serves as a testament to the company's vision of a more sustainable and resilient future for global farming.

Learn more at https://akorn.tech/products-citrus/

Xander Shapiro
Akorn Technology
xander@akorn.tech