b'EXTRASBREAKTHROUGH RESEARCH ALLOWS FOR 3DANTS FIGHT PLANT DISEASESPRINTED CHOCOLATE WITHOUT TEMPERATURE CONTROL New research from Aarhus University shows that ants inhibit at least 14 different plant diseases. The small insects secrete Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology andantibiotics from glands in the body. On their legs and body, they Design (SUTD) have pioneered a novel approach to 3D print choc- also host colonies of bacteria that secrete antibiotics. It is prob-olate-based products at room temperature by cold extrusion. ably these substances that inhibit a number of different diseases The hot-melt extrusion method is widely used in 3D printedand researchers now hope to find biological pesticides that may chocolates where the chocolate is required to be between theconquer resistant plant diseases.temperatures of 31 C to 36 C so that it can be melted and dis- Ants live closely together in their ant hills and are there-pensed accordingly. While this method has its advantages infore highly exposed to spread of infections. But they have their simplicity and accessibility, the narrow range of operating tem- own medication against diseases. On the one hand, they are perature can be highly restrictive and inflexible. very hygienic and, on the other hand, they can cure themselves Conversely, cold extrusion does not require the manipula- and treat each other with antibiotics produced by themselves. tion of temperature as it depends solely on the rheology of print- Through body glands, the ants secrete antibiotics, and bacterial ing ink that is added to chocolate at the operating temperature.colonies, which the ants cultivate on their legs and body, may However, due to the lack of inks possessing suitable rheologicalalso secrete antibiotics.properties, cold extrusion in 3D printed chocolate has not beenPrevious research has shown that wood ants moved to an demonstrated to date. apple plantation reduced the occurrence of two apple diseases Using the Ci3DP approach, readily available chocolate prod- (scab and apple rot) in the plantation. This prompted research-ucts such as syrups and pastes were mixed with cocoa powderers to go through the existing literature where they have now to alter the rheology of the ink. Chocolate-based inks with highfound scientific evidence that ants can inhibit at least 14 differ-concentrations of cocoa powders exhibited shear-thinningent plant diseases.properties with high viscosity; the inks also possessed a tooth- "We don\'t yet know how the ants cure the plants" says senior paste-like property that did not flow at rest. researcher Joachim Offenberg, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus To highlight this capability, 3D models consisting of choc- University, who led the research. "But we do know that the ants olate syrups and pastes were demonstrated. The same methodsecrete pheromones on their trails on the plants to find their way. was extended to the fabrication of a chocolate with differentAnd we know that some of these have antibiotic properties. The textures by using multiple types of inks. (Source: Singaporecuring effect on plant diseases could be due to these pheromones. University of Technology and Design) (Source: Aarhus University)4 TOP SEED1SOLUTIONS PREMIUM FOR YOU LUCERNE/ALFALFAFor almost 40 years, weve been2HIGH PERFORMANCE SUNFLOWERpassionate creators of high-performanceFAST FORAGE3agricultural seed.Our expert seed developers are dedicated toQUALITY GRAIN always producing highest quality seed options4SORGHUMwith your on-farm challenges in mind.Get in touch today to learn more about how our ever-growing range of premium seed can work for you to achieveSORGHUMbigger returns on your farm, this season and every season.SUNFLOWER ALFALFA FORAGE SORGHUM GRAIN SORGHUM ernsttopitschnig@swseedco.com SW1615ESMErnst Topitschnig Phone +43 664 111 42 9946IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'