In 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on this planet, and to feed and meet the demands of the future global population is a challenge. BASF is committed to the health and welfare of both people and the natural environment, with innovative products and solutions along the entire food supply chain. This includes solutions to support sustainable agriculture, safety of food processing and food contact materials, and the personalization of nutrition for specific needs.
BASF develops innovative solutions for growers to achieve better yields while minimizing environmental impact. Agnique® IR, an agrochemical polymer, treats soil without compromising fertility. Through crumb stabilization and fines flocculation, Agnique IR can stabilize soil structure and facilitate infiltration of water into soil, with only a low dosage in application. In 2017, Agnique IR was applied for the first time in China to the sandy soils in Hainan Province for the cultivation of watermelon. It helped keep the water in soil about 30% longer after irrigation, thus saving water and energy consumption as well as reducing the outdoor work for farmers in hot weather.
As a leading solution provider of crop protection, BASF is extending its expertise in specialty crops to field crops in China. Seltima® and Opera®, two fungicides from the Agcelence® family for field crops, are highly recognized by Chinese farmers and authorities. In 2017, more than 200,000 hectares of rice were treated with Seltima and around 300,000 farmers benefited from its effectiveness in disease prevention and treatment as well as better yields of the crops. It also became the first officially-registered pyraclostrobin fungicide with safe application for rice in China. Applications of Opera in 2017 also increased significantly compared to 2016, providing both disease prevention and treatment for around 180,000 hectares and 540,000 farmers. Both were listed as recommended products of the year by the National Agricultural Technology Extension Service Centre and several Chinese provinces.
Keeping abreast with new food safety regulations in China, BASF is supporting local manufacturers in food-related industries to meet stringent standards throughout the value chain, from processing, packaging to cooking at home.
BASF is contributing to higher standards of meat quality, hygiene and safety for Tianjin Guoshun Meat Manufacturing Company (Guoshun). The UCRETE flooring system, a unique polyurethane resin technology, was applied in Guoshun’s meat handling and manufacturing areas. UCRETE provides a floor surface of high durability and resistance to chemicals, thermal shock and slip, while hindering bacterial or fungal growth. The system is among the few worldwide approved by Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Path (HACCP), an international food safety system against food contamination. The qualification will support Guoshun in meeting higher standard of quality and ensuring quality as the exclusive meat supplier for the 13th National Games of the People’s Republic of China held in Tianjin in 2017.
In China, the new regulation GB 9685-2016 for food contact materials has set higher hygienic standards for food packaging and tightened measurement for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The research and development team at BASF in China developed the low-VOC and low-odor paper coating binder Basonal FCB for food contact boards, which does not contain any non-permitted food contact additives. It meets the stringent GB 9685-2016 food safety regulations by minimizing the amount of key odor-causing components typically found in conventional styrene-butadiene chemistry to almost non-detectible levels. Other crucial additives identified as potential sources of odor were also eliminated in the polymerization process. These innovative developments resulted in odor free lattices and the lowest possible total VOC levels without compromising printability. Basonal FCB has been recognized by major Chinese packaging manufacturers for various types of food packaging in China.
BASF’s amorphous thermoplastic, Ultrason E2010, ensures food safety in cooking. When applied in the cooker lid, the specialty plastic is highly resistant to high temperatures, food colorants and cleaning agents with a longer functional life span. Complying with regulations for food contact applications in the United States and Europe, it also meets the requirements of the Chinese regulation GB4806.6 on food safety standards for plastic resins used in food contact. Major international manufacturers of high-end cooking utensils have adopted the material in their new products.
Consumers are increasingly interested in nutritional benefits of what they are eating, the effectiveness of exercise and the efficacy of nutritional supplements. With its broad portfolio of science-based health concepts and solutions, BASF Newtrition® has entered a 10-year cooperation agreement with By-Health, a leading supplement brand in China, to co-develop concepts and technologies for personalized nutrition solutions to better meet the evolving needs of consumers and to conduct joint clinical research on sarcopenia1 in the elderly. BASF also supports researchers in Asia Pacific in their studies of nutritional topics relevant for the region’s demographics and diets through its Newtrition Asia Research Grant program, first launched in 2012. In 2017, using a prototype of the plant sterol enriched soy milk beverage, a study funded by the grant proved the efficacy of plant sterols in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors among Chinese elderly with mild to moderately high cholesterol level2.
1. Sarcopenia is the age-related degenerative loss of muscle mass, strength and function that affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform essential daily tasks.
2. The study recruited 170 men and women (aged 55 – 65) with mild to moderately high cholesterol. Respondents were given either two grams of plant sterols in 30 grams of soy milk or a he study recruited 170 men and women (aged 55 – 65) with mild to moderately high cholesterol. Respondents were given either two grams of plant sterols in 30 grams of soy milk or a placebo. After daily intake for six months, respondents in the group supplemented with plant sterols observed a significant reduction in total cholesterol by 9.3% and LDL-cholesterol by 11.4% without any effects on HDL-cholesterol.