Bio-based waxes as the key to vital plants

The use of natural waxes for various applications is already common in many industries. Some examples are oil binding in shoe polishes and lipsticks, the water-repellent effect in sugar-coated tablets and industrial coatings, as well as the release effect in baked goods and plastics. Car polishes and printing inks also need waxes for their scratch resistance and waxes are found in plasticisers in hot-melt adhesives and in chewing gum.

For plant health, tree waxes are used to protect against UV radiation or parasites and in modern agriculture as a coating for plant seeds to achieve various benefits. However, various factors in seed coating urge research into further reliable and efficient coating formulations: For example, difficulties in the biodegradation of coating materials as well as the influence of chemical ingredients on the seeds need to be solved. The aim of the VitalCoat project is therefore to develop waxes and wax mixtures that can be applied to the bark of trees infested with harmful fungi. In particular, they are intended to support healing. On the other hand, the aforementioned problem with the coating of seeds is to be addressed and new formulations developed. The project managers also want to investigate the influence of these waxes, applied to tree and crop seeds, on plant development.

The highlight: the natural waxes are obtained from native plants or plant residues, which strengthens the green agro-industrial circular economy. The wax mixtures are also intended to support tree health, particularly in urban green spaces, in order to maintain the function of green spaces in regulating the microclimate.


01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026


Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection (MLUK)




Mihaela Stankova (Diploma in Food Chemistry)


Teaching and Research Institute for Horticulture and Arboriculture e.V. (LVGA), Großbeeren/Germany; Instant Seed GmbH, Blankenfelde-Mahlow/Germany