Encapsulating Aqueous Diets for Beneficial Insects Using Synthetic Polymers
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 140218, Gainesville, FL, 32614
Dr. William Toreki
AbstractThis proposal seeks to develop a method for the encapsulation of a liquid artificial culture medium that has been proven suitable for rearing a variety of beneficial insects. There are no existing methods available for the production of soft-shelled, aqueous-filled, 1 cm diameter capsules which could be used to encapsulate water-based artificial diets. All current industrial encapsulation technologies use hard-shell or gleatin-based approaches (for encapsulating drugs and chemicals) that are water soluble, and are not ideal in size to feeding insects. None of these methods work with water-based encapsulants, necessitating the development of a novel encapsulation approach: If successful, the outcome of this research could provide an important enabling technology that will foster a dramatic improvement in cost-effective rearing of many beneficial insects for use in augmentative biological control. An array of polymers will be tested in terms of their acceptability to the insects in question, and their biochemical and biophysical suitability as coatings for an aqueous medium. Processes that may be suitable for the application of this coating and the automated mass production of individual coated droplets will be researched.
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