Restrain sprout suppressor approved in Germany
The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has approved the ethylene-based sprout suppressor Restrain as a safe crop protection product with immediate effect. The approval applies to the treatment of potatoes (for both domestic consumption and starch production), onions, garlic, shallots, propagating material and tomatoes.
European potato and onion growers are in urgent need of anti-germination treatments such as Restrain because the standard agent, CIPC, has been prohibited in all European Union member states since this storage season. This prohibition came into force because it was shown that CIPC leaves harmful residue on agricultural produce.
Good news for consumers and growers
Andreas Fust, Sales Manager for Restrain in Germany, is pleased with the approval: “Germany is a big market for us, so we are very pleased that Restrain has been officially approved here as well. But, above all, it is good news for public health. Restrain is a natural sprout suppressor which does not leave any harmful residue on potatoes. That means the method is also, for example, suitable for organic farming and the application for this is being processed. In addition, it is good news for German growers. Our method is suitable for all forms of storage and is in the same price range as the previous CIPC method of sprout suppression. Moreover, tests have shown that Restrain does not negatively affect the fry colour of potatoes.”
Residue-free anti-germination treatment
Restrain uses a residue-free anti-germination method based on ethylene gas. Ethylene is a natural gas which suppresses the extent of cell growth in potatoes. By dispersing ethylene in the potato storage space to a precise protocol over the storage period, potatoes remain dormant, and sprouting and internal germination are prevented.
However, the agent also has other applications. It improves the yield of seed potatoes when growers apply it as an accumulator. It also helps tomatoes to ripen faster at the end of the season. Restrain has also been approved by the BVL for these applications.
The company is the result of a research project in the UK to find an alternative method of preventing sprouting in potatoes. The applications of ethylene proved so successful that a specialised company was set up for the purpose: Restrain. Today, the Restrain method is used as a sprouting inhibitor for over a million tonnes of potatoes by over 1,000 growers in 38 countries throughout the world.
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