Postharvest losses of stored products are enormous due to fungal deteriorations. Although, there are a number of synthetic fungicides available in the market for checking these deteriorations, they have several side effects such as high toxicity, long degradation periods, their residues in food chain, chronic poisoning through the continuous intake of small quantities, development of new races of pathogens, non-biodegradable nature and exhaustible source. Therefore, we must search the new sources of pesticides, which in addition to their efficiency, must be safe and selective to target specific pathogen. Plants are very rich sources of bioactive chemicals such as phenolics, polyphenols, quinones, flavones, flavonoids, flavonols, tannins, cumarins, terpenoids, lectins and polypeptides. Some plants yield fraction of essential oils, which have inhibitory effects on microorganisms. They are highly enriched with terpenoids. They are volatile, biodegradable, eco-friendly and are easily available in local environment. Several studies have been conducted on the use of such botanicals for controlling postharvest diseases, and hence, the present communication reviews the work done on investigating the fungitoxic potential of essential oils and extracts from higher plants in fungal deterioration of stored products.
Key words: Myotoxins, fungitoxic, biodeterioration.
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