Synthetic pesticides are widely used to protect crops from pathogens and pests, especially for fruits and vegetables, and this may lead to the presence of residues on fresh produce. Improving the sustainability of agriculture and, at the same time, reducing the adverse effects of synthetic pesticides on human health requires effective alternatives that improve the productivity while maintaining the food quality and safety. Moreover, retailers increasingly request fresh produce with the amounts of pesticides largely below the official maximum residue levels. Basic substances are relatively novel compounds that can be used in plant protection without neurotoxic or immune-toxic effects and are still poorly known by phytosanitary consultants (plant doctors), researchers, growers, consumers, and decision makers. The focus of this review is to provide updated information about 24 basic substances currently approved in the EU and to summarize in a single document their properties and instructions for users. Most of these substances have a fungicidal activity (calcium hydroxide, chitosan, chitosan hydrochloride, Equisetum arvense L., hydrogen peroxide, lecithins, cow milk, mustard seed powder, Salix spp., sunflower oil, sodium chloride, sodium hydrogen carbonate, Urtica spp., vinegar, and whey). Considering the increasing requests from consumers of fruits and vegetables for high quality with no or a reduced amount of pesticide residues, basic substances can complement and, at times, replace the application of synthetic pesticides with benefits for users and for consumers. Large-scale trials are important to design the best dosage and strategies for the application of basic substances against pathogens and pests in different growing environments and contexts.
Basic Substances, a Sustainable Tool to Complement and Eventually Replace Synthetic Pesticides in the Management of Pre and Postharvest Diseases: Reviewed Instructions for Users / Romanazzi, Gianfranco; Orçonneau, Yann; Moumni, Marwa; Davillerd, Yann; Marchand, Patrice André. - In: MOLECULES. - ISSN 1420-3049. - 27:11(2022), p. 3484. [10.3390/molecules27113484]