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Obtaining biopolymeric and clay mineral microparticles containing entomopathogenic fungi using the Spray Drying technique

Grant number: 23/09504-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Hernane da Silva Barud
Grantee:Pedro Henryque Furtado Albuquerque
Host Institution: Universidade de Araraquara (UNIARA). Associação São Bento de Ensino. Araraquara , SP, Brazil


The increase in the use of bioinsecticides employing entomopathogenic fungi as a means of pest management has been remarkable in recent years. This has led to investigations into their potential application in protecting crops against various arthropod species, as well as the interactions between bioinsecticides and their intended targets. To enhance the longevity and resilience of the product against environmental factors such as light, oxygen, heat, and moisture, the Spray Drying process has proven to be a viable approach for microencapsulating these fungi. In this project, the aim is to utilize the Spray Drying process to encapsulate entomopathogenic fungi with different formulations based on starch, bentonite, and xanthan gum. The objective is to enhance the efficiency of the microencapsulation techniques of entomopathogenic fungi through different proportions of biopolymers and clay minerals, resulting in increased durability and efficacy of the bioinsecticides. The different formulations containing the fungi will be evaluated using Scanning Electron Microscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction, and Thermal Analysis (Thermogravimetry and Differential Scanning Calorimetry) to investigate their structural, micrometric, and morphological characteristics, as well as thermal stability. Different formulations based on starch, xanthan gum, and bentonite containing entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae) will be produced through Spray Drying, taking into consideration drying time and temperature.

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