The nanoformulation of pesticides has the potential to increase food productivity, while resolving the drawbacks of conventional agrochemicals, which have negative environmental impacts. In this study, herbicide (metsulfuron methyl)-loaded pectin (polysaccharide) nanoparticles were synthesized and evaluated for herbicidal activity and cytotoxicity. The optimum formulation of nanoparticles was obtained using the Central Composite Design. The basic properties (mean particle size, stability, morphology, and interaction between polymer and herbicide) were characterized using a particle size analyzer (PSA), zeta potential, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. The nanoparticles were found to be in size range of 50–90 nm with zeta potential value of − 35.9 mV. The herbicide loading and herbicide encapsulation efficiency of the nanoparticles were determined to be 6.30% and 63 ± 2%, respectively. The cytotoxicity of the herbicide-loaded nanoparticles was evaluated using healthy cell lines (Vero cell lines) and compared with that of commercial herbicide. In addition, an in-field evaluation of our nanoformulation's effects on the Chenopodium album plant was performed using a pectin nanocarrier. The results showed that application of herbicide-loaded nanoparticles could be used to reduce the use of herbicides with improved efficacy and environmental safety.
- Metsulfuron methyl