Definition - What does Anti-Feedant mean?
In botany, anti-feedants are substances that are applied to plants to deter insects and other such pests from feeding on the crops.
In most cases anti-feedant compounds are safe for humans and the environment. In fact, anti-feedants are known for being more ecologically acceptable than other types of insecticides.
MaximumYield explains Anti-Feedant
Anti-feedants secrete behavior-modifying chemicals that prevent insects from feeding. The goal is to make the plants unappealing to pest insects. For example, spraying terpenes onto plants can mask their presence so pests cannot smell them, or are at least turned off by the new smell.
Some plant-based anti-feedant compounds include, but are not limited to, different types of terpenes, alkaloids, phenolics, cyclopropanoid acids, cucurbitacins, quassinoids, saponins, polyacetylenes, and chromenes, among others.
Most of the above listed anti-feedants are naturally produced by a family of plants to protect it from pest damage, yet researchers are able to harness those substances from those plants and apply them to another plant family.
Some gardeners choose to mix and match these compounds, whereby different types of feeding inhibitors are sprayed across crops to prevent various species of insects and pests from destroying foliage.
Some genetically modified plants can also produce high amounts of anti-feedants that shelter the crops from potentially dangerous herbivorous damage.