Controlled release technology addresses problems associated with excessive use of toxic agricultural chemicals. This paper reviews the studies on the use of carbohydrate polymers as controlled release matrices for pesticides. Alginates, starch and its derivatives, chitosan, carboxymethylcellulose and ethylcellulose are some of the natural polymers discussed in this review. The advantages and disadvantages of these polymeric systems as well as the factors that affect pesticide release are presented. A discussion on the polymers’ encapsulation efficiency and release profile is also included, which will aid future researchers in identifying the suitable formulation for controlled release of pesticides. Combination of two polymers, incorporation of sorbents into polymer matrices, and modification of polymer systems are some of the strategies also discussed herein. Recent trends in this area of research include nanoformulation, nanoencapsulation, and the development of polymeric systems with dual properties such as controlled release with photo-protective property and the attract-and-kill strategy. Cytotoxicity studies are being conducted to address safety issues of pesticide handlers as well as to determine the toxicity of the formulation to non-target organisms such as the plant itself.
Maria Cleofe Neri-Badang & Soma Chakraborty (2019) Carbohydrate polymers as controlled release devices for pesticides, Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry, 38:1, 67-85, DOI: 10.1080/07328303.2019.1568449