Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 583–592 | Cite as

Not just for beer: evaluation of spent hops (Humulus lupulus L.) as a source of eco-friendly repellents for insect pests of stored foods

  • Stefano Bedini
  • Guido Flamini
  • Jessica Girardi
  • Francesca Cosci
  • Barbara ContiEmail author
Original Paper


Spent hops is a waste produced in large amount by the brewing industry. Rhyzopertha dominica and Sitophilus granarius are insects that cause important economic losses of stored foods. In this study, for the first time, spent hops has been evaluated as a source of essential oil (EO) and chemicals with repellent activity against R. dominica and S. granarius. Spent hops EO yield was 0.11 %. The terpenes myrcene, α-humulene, and β-caryophyllene were its main components (47 %). Spent hops EO RD50 values were 0.01 and 0.19 μL cm−2 for R. dominica and S. granarius, respectively. Among the chemicals, myrcene was able to exert the highest repellency against R. dominica (RD50 = 0.27 µM cm−2), while limonene was the most effective compound against S. granarius (RD50 = 0.89 µM cm−2). These results indicate spent hops as an excellent source of EO and chemicals to be utilized as low-cost, eco-friendly insect pests repellents in the protection of stored food.


Spent hops Essential oil Terpenes Rhyzopertha dominica Sitophilus granarius Repellence 



We would like to thank Mr. Paolo Giannotti for the skilled assistance during the set-up of the experiment, Dr. Riccardo Antonelli for the photographs of the insects, and the Brewery “Opificio Birraio” for the supply of the spent hops.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Bedini
    • 1
  • Guido Flamini
    • 2
  • Jessica Girardi
    • 1
  • Francesca Cosci
    • 1
  • Barbara Conti
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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