Submitted to: United States of America and Mexico Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Formulation development is one of many steps required for commercialization of biological pesticides and holds the promise to bridge the gap between production of the active agent and use by consumers. A biological pesticide begins with discovery of an agent capable of controlling a pest. Active agents for biological insecticides include fermentation products, bacteria, fungi, baculovirus, and nematodes. Once a suitable agent is identified, commercial production procedures are developed to provide a cost-effective stock of the active agent. The next step is formulation development, where the formulation is expected to maintain high pesticidal virulence, high physiological stability under storage, and high compatibility with the auxiliary ingredients, while converting the active agent to a useful product. The formulator must also consider both the form of the active stock as well as the form of the final product needed by the consumer. By accomplishing these goals, formulation research has the potential to convert the biological agent from natural control to a commercial biological pesticide. Formulation development for biological control agents is a daunting task. Each pest control situation contains a unique set of characteristics that impact the list of potential formulation possibilities. Each insect pest is unique from all other pests as outlined by niche theory. Each agent has a unique set of biological and physical characteristics. On the positive side, once the pest/active agent combination is identified, the biological interaction between the agent and target pest often dictates many decisions associated with formulation development. Also, many adverse environmental characteristics, such as susceptibility to degradation by exposure to sunlight, can be addressed by developing formulations to improve the product. On the negative side, a successful formulation for one agent is unlikely to be acceptable for another agent. Two final considerations, which can frustrate formulators, are low margins for cost and government regulations. This presentation will provide basic information concerning considerations for formulating a wide range of biological agents. Additional information will be presented describing basic formulation ingredients and characteristics. Finally, information about some common formulation and processing equipment will be provided. The goal of this presentation is to provide an overview of formulation development of biological pest control agents by identifying and addressing critical issues.