Hazomalania voyronii, popularly known as hazomalana, is used to repel mosquitoes and resist against insect attacks in Madagascar.
In a study published in 2021, hazomalana was tested for its efficacy as a plant-based pesticide (wheat protectant) against flour beetles. In the study, a 6% (w/w) Hazomalania voyronii essential oil-based nanoemulsion was developed and evaluated for the management of larvae and adults of three major stored-product beetles (Tribolium confusum, T. castaneum, and Tenebrio molitor). A combination of the H. voyronii essential oil-based nanoemulsion with other natural insecticides could potentially provide an enhanced level of protection for stored durable commodities against multi species infections.
The article makes no mention of the risks of essential oil to human health, but, according the previous study, Hazomalania voyronii essential oil induces vasorelaxation in the rat aortic ring.
In the framework of the European Green Deal, and in particular its "farm to fork" and biodiversity strategies, the Commission will take action to reduce by 50% the use - and therefore the risk - of pesticides, including the use of more hazardous pesticides, by 2030.
Most insecticides commonly used in storage facilities are synthetic, an issue that generates concerns about food safety and public health. We urgently need to move towards the development of environmentally friendly insecticides, but this reform may not be fully reassuring from a food safety and public health point of view, as the active ingredients of plant-based insecticides may also pose some risks.
Based on the results presented above, H. voyronii essential oil-based nanoemulsion could be a promising alternative to chemical pesticides. However, before it can enter the food chain, we need to make sure that its use is safe and does not pose serious risks to human or animal health or the environment. Further research is needed to establish this.