Solvents in Agriculture and Food Production

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Panel: Steve Risotto
Media: Sarah Scruggs

Solvents are used in the preparation and isolation of active ingredients for many pesticides and agricultural products. The presence of solvents in pesticides promotes slow, more uniform drying to provide adequate penetration and high spraying efficiency thus reducing the total amount of pesticide required.

Solvents play a key role in the delivery of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides to their respective targets, whether in commercial or home use. Proper solvent selection produces optimal drying time (slow enough to allow adequate penetration but not too slow) and good spraying efficiency (less drift so more active ingredient lands on the target).

Solvents are used in many aspects of food preparation and packaging. In household cleaners, solvents help food preparation areas to be clean and hygienic. They are also used to extract fats, oils, and flavorings from nuts, seeds and other raw materials. They are also often used in the liquid formulations of those flavorings and essences. Inks and adhesives for food packaging use appropriate solvents as well.

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