Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Herbal-Active® and extending shelf life of cut flowers

This is a recent press release on the use of Herbal-Active® solution as a means of extending the shelf life of cut flowers:

MEDIA RELEASE

Secret herbs control rot in Roses

A chance application of a product formulated by Cherikoff Bioactives may have revealed a way to control grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) in cut roses (and a wide range of other flowers).

Botrytis or grey mould is a fungal disease that affects a number of ornamental plants. Its spread is favoured by cool rainy weather.

Roses infected by grey mould typically show necrotic brown areas on petals with eventual rot of the corolla.

It’s a problem for growers and florists. It’s a particularly troublesome fungus in warmer climates as spores are always developing and spreading. In cooler climates it will overwinter to germinate in humid spring conditions.

Florists will not know if the roses are infected until the first tell-tale signs.
Additionally, the existing synthetic fungicides used in the industry have socio-environmental risks and there is an imperative to find more generally acceptable alternatives.

Susan Kirk, a horticultural journalist and florist in Kureelpa, Queensland used the product, Herbal-Active® on some roses that were showing the tell tale signs of the disease.

“I knew about Herbal-Active® and its ability to control food pathogens as well as food spoilage organisms on fruits, vegetables and herbs.
“I asked Mr Cherikoff the question; would Herbal-Active® work on a floral fungus?”

Cherikoff was confident that it would work as it is made from GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) essential oils from culinary herbs and spices and is an effective and powerful antimicrobial replacing chemical preservatives in many applications.
“Micro-organisms cannot develop a resistance to the actives in Herbal-Active® as they simply attack the walls of non-human (microbial) cells and they just fall apart.
“It may even work on viruses,” said Mr Cherikoff.

Herbal-Active® is natural and numerous food and cosmetic products using it have been approved as organic by Organic Food Chain and Australian Certified Organic. It is used in many food and beverage applications in Australia, in the USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, India and the UK with customers in other countries in various stages of trial and application.

As a food ingredient, Herbal-Active® does not need registration for use as an antimicrobial for flowers.

But back to Mrs Kirk’s floral tests: One bunch of 10 roses with no obvious signs of the disease, were dipped in a 1% solution of Herbal-Active® three days after purchase.

Three days later, only one rose was showing signs of mould. The affected petal was removed and the rose was again dipped in the solution. The stem were cut and placed into chlorinated water.
Herbal-Active® extending shelf life of cut flowers

“These roses, eight days later, have shown no signs of infection and even looked healthier than when first purchased.”

Another bunch of roses, which was used as the test control and not dipped, was nearly decimated with petal blight in less than a week.

“Dipping as near to harvest as possible is recommended but as soon as practical will help extend the shelf life of cut flowers,” says Mr Cherikoff.

Botrytis (and other moulds) can be a problem on fruits such as grapes and cherries and dipping these in the same 1% solution of Herbal-Active® works at extending the shelf life as well as the food safety of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

END

Media Contact Vic Cherikoff ph: 0418 405 183 vic@cherikoff.net

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Vic Cherikoff