About this Research Topic
Modern agricultural production uses a large number of agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, etc.) for plant nutrition/protection. Agrochemicals have a negative impact on the environment, climate changes and human health. Climate changes are faster than ever threatening plant growth and productivity with significant effects on the quality and quantity of plant nutrients. As a result, food is produced with low nutritional value, but also rich in residues of organic compounds that have a negative impact on human health. Furthermore, climate changes are also responsible for changing the relationships between crops, pests, pathogens and weeds. It can also worsen the reduction of pollinating insects, increasing water scarcity, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and so on. That is why it is necessary to research and develop new approaches in the process of nutrition/plant protection and production of functional foods rich in bioactive components that positively affect human health.
The main goal of this Research Topic is to publish articles, reviews and short communications related to trends in new approaches to more efficient agricultural production with minimal use of agrochemicals, increased productivity and reduced costs of healthy food production. These include strengthening the sustainability of all parts of the food system, from seeds and soil, to the table, including environmental knowledge, economic sustainability and social justice. The emphasis will be on microencapsulation technology in agriculture, including the encapsulation of biological and chemical agents in the production of plants with an increased content of secondary metabolites, i.e. functional foods.
The scope of this Research Topic will fall in the following research areas, but not limited to:
a) Encapsulation of bioactive components for plant protection/nutrition and functional food production.
b) Physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between biological agents and chemical reagents as a synergistic new approach in plant nutrition and protection process.
c) Trends in agricultural practices such as the most advanced biological control techniques, as effective and efficient delivery of chemicals/biological agents for diseases, pest management, bioplastic treatments etc.
We would also like to acknowledge that Dr. Ivana Pajač Živković (University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Zagreb, Croatia) acted as a Topic Coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal of this Research Topic.
Keywords: plant, nutrition, protection, pest menagment, functional food
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