Rosmarino, timo e menta: gli antiparassitari dell’agricoltura biologica

di Marco Mancini 39

spezie antiparassitari naturaliRosmarino, timo, chiodi di garofano, menta a cosa vi fanno pensare se non a un pasto delizioso e aromatico? Ma c’è chi ha pensato più in grande ed ha immaginato ben più nobili scopi per le spezie. Per esempio quello di antiparassitari naturali nell’agricoltura biologica, al fine di non utilizzare sostanze chimiche e pesticidi velenosi per l’uomo e per gli insetti “buoni” come le api.

Queste note e comuni sostanze aromatiche stanno diventando una delle armi principali che le coltivazioni bio impiegano contro gli insetti parassiti. L’industria del biologico risulta in ascesa e oggi più che mai cerca di soddisfare le richieste in perenne aumento di frutta e vegetali, fra la crescente quota di consumatori che chiedono alimenti prodotti in modo più naturale.

In uno studio presentato nel corso del 238° American Chemical Society National Meeting gli scienziati hanno segnalato queste spezie killer come preziosi alleati contro i parassiti. Queste sostanze rappresentano una nuova classe di insetticidi naturali e mostrano un’eco-alternativa ai convenzionali pesticidi con, dettaglio tutt’altro che trascurabile, meno rischi per la salute umana e animale. Come spiega l’autore della ricerca, Isman Murray, della University of British Columbia:

Stiamo esplorando il potenziale uso di pesticidi naturali a base di oli essenziali di piante comunemente utilizzate nei prodotti alimentari e nelle bevande come aromi. Questi nuovi pesticidi sono in genere una miscela di piccole quantità di due/quattro diverse spezie diluite in acqua. Alcuni di questi mix di spezie uccidono gli insetti, altri funzionano semplicemente da repellente.

L’uso di concentrati di spezie, tra i più comuni in commercio, da parte degli agricoltori ha già riscosso un enorme successo in materia di protezione biologica di fragole, spinaci, pomodoro e colture contro la forza distruttiva di afidi e acari.
I pesticidi naturali hanno molti vantaggi. A differenza dei convenzionali pesticidi, queste spezie killer non richiedono regolamentazione e approvazione e sono immediatamente disponibili. Un ulteriore vantaggio è che gli insetti hanno meno probabilità di sviluppare resistenza. Sono inoltre innocui e sicuri per i lavoratori agricoli, che sono ad alto rischio di esposizione ai pesticidi chimici.

[Fonte: American Chemical Society (2009, August 16). ‘Killer Spices’ Provide Eco-friendly Pesticides For Organic Fruits And Veggies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/08/090816170910.htm]

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