AlzChem Secures Continuous Supply of Healthy Fruit by Dormex®

  • Dormex® enables farmers to grow deciduous fruits in regions with warm winters like the subtropics and even the tropics.
  • The benefits of Dormex® increase in times of global warming.
  • AlzChem is highly dedicated to the safe use of its products.
  • The use of products such as Dormex® contributes to a successful and sustainable cultivation of valuable food, for a healthy nutrition of the people.


The value of eating fresh fruit for maintaining good health is known for thousands of years, but it has probably never been higher than during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, continuous fruit supply cannot be taken for granted. Nor is the growing of high quality fruit an easy task. In particular, fruit crops belonging to the so-called ‘temperate zone’, like grapes and apples, require sufficiently cold winters in order to resume normal growth in spring. In case the winters are not cold enough, e.g. as a consequence of global warming, the crop suffers from uneven bud break, reduced yield and poor fruit quality.


How can fruit trees be cooled down?

Many researchers all over the world have spent decades searching for suitable techniques to overcome the lack of winter chill. Thus, the discovery that dormant buds treated with cyanamide showed an even bud break, a much higher yield and a better fruit quality, was a sheer stroke of luck. Due to its strong efficacy, Dormex® has become the standard tool for stimulating bud break of fruit crops suffering from a lack of winter chill.


Facing the logistic challenge

Dormex® is applied to the fruit crops only once per year, long before commencement of bud break. Missing the right time, however, threatens the desired effect. Furthermore, the active ingredient of Dormex® has a limited shelf life only. Therefore, on-time arrival and application has always been a logistic challenge.


(Almost) worldwide use

The less winter chill, the more important Dormex® becomes. Farmers in regions like California (USA), Atacama (Chile) and Sonora (Mexico) could not produce deciduous fruits because of the lack of winter chill. Accordingly, Dormex® is registered in these like in many other countries for stimulating bud break of these fruit crops. For Europe our product is of much less importance – only some regions in the south of Italy, Greece and Spain would have a demand for Dormex®, as all the other regions get enough cold winter days.


What is Dormex® made of?

Dormex®’ active ingredient is cyanamide. It is a naturally occurring nitrogen compound, which is formed in the leaves of several plant species such as vetches (i.e. Vicia villosa, Vicia cracca) or Robinia-trees (Robinia pseudoacacia). Due to its natural occurrence, soil microorganisms are used to decompose cyanamide. Thus, it has only a very short residence time in the soil: Within one day more than 50% of the substance are transformed into urea or other nutritive forms of nitrogen. Even in humans cyanamide is metabolized into acetyl-cyanamide and will be excreted within 48 hours. The low persistence and the early application before budbreak also secure that there is no risk of cyanamide residues in the crops at the time of harvest. Specifically developed analytical techniques have proven that no residues can be detected even below the default maximum residue level as set by European authorities.


Can Dormex® or cyanamide cause harm to anybody?

Cyanamide impresses with a spectacular bioeffiacy. However, it is also a very reactive molecule and thus has to be handled with care.  In particular, its acute effects, especially the skin-corrosive properties of the concentrated product, must be taken serious. In rare cases hazardous properties through prolonged or repeated exposure have been reported, too. Until today, however, no suitable alternative to cyanamide with a more favourable toxicological profile has been found. Taken together, the main risks of cyanamide – and, as a consequence of Dormex – certainly lie in an uninformed use and application.


Product stewardship – safety first

Despite their character as highly valuable inventions for mankind chemicals like Dormex® must always be applied carefully and responsibly. Therefore, the safe use of Dormex throughout the world, independent of the country of application, is AlzChem’s highest priority.

It starts with protective measures with respect to the product itself: In order to detect spillages or contaminations, AlzChem has added a strong blue dye to the Dormex® formulation. In addition, an effective taste aversion agent prevents accidental ingestion.

Particularly in countries, where work safety standards are lower than in Europe, we take special care that our products are used safely. In addition to application instructions and handling guidelines, our distributors provide documented trainings to each farmer and applicator. AlzChem also works intensively with its distributors in providing proper personal protective equipment to the farmers. Furthermore, we deliver some protective gear, such us safety gloves, free of charge.


Dormex – key to healthy nutrition

Handled safely Dormex® significantly contributes to the healthy nutrition of an expanding population worldwide. This high quality product allows even those countries to grow fruit which by the arbitrary decision of nature are not best-positioned to do so. AlzChem is eager to be, and to remain, a safe and reliable source of Dormex® to its customers.

© AlzChem Group AG © AlzChem Group AG
Martin Eberl

Martin Eberl

T +49 8621 86-2258