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Pesticide Residues in Fresh Fruit, 2013

Summary of Residue Findings in Conventionally Cultivated Products

Report from a day in the lab

Ellen Scherbaum, Marc Wieland

 

Photo: Fruits.

 

In 2013 a total of 861 samples of fresh fruit from conventional cultivation were analyzed at CVUA Stuttgart for the presence of residues of over 650 pesticides. Fully 806 (94 %) of the samples were found to contain residues from a total of 193 different substances (in 2012, 197 substances; in 2011, 184; in 2010, 169; and in 2009, 183). In all, there were 4,660 cases of quantitatively identified residues. Exceedances of the MRL were confirmed in 41 (4.8 %) fruit samples (see Tables 1 and 2). In comparison to the previous three years, the quota of violations was slightly higher (2012: 4.5%, 2011: 3.6 %, 2010: 4.2 %).
While the samples from Germany and other EU countries had fewer cases of MRL exceedance (9 of 265 (3.4%) and 12 of 259 (4.6%) respectively), the samples from outside the EU, the so-called third-countries, showed a somewhat higher rate of contamination: 19 of 312 (6.1%) samples contained levels over the MRL.
The newly included fosetyl (incl. phosphorous acid), which was added to the spectrum of investigated substances in 2012, was tested this year as well. Both of these substances are fungicides and are often used in fruit orchards. Due to the comparatively high average quantity of phosphorous acid detected (up to 47 mg/kg, see comparisons in Annex 1), the average amount of pesticide per sample is also accordingly high, similar to the situation with surface treatment substances. Therefore, Table 1 also presents the average pesticide content per sample without the inclusion of fosetyl (sum), and without fosetyl (sum) and surface treatment substances.

 

Table 1 Residues in Fruit Samples from Conventional Production, Differentiated by Region of Origin
(CVUAS, 2013)
Fresh Fruit Domestic Samples Other EU Country Samples Third-country Samples Unknown Origin Samples Total Samples

Number of Samples

265

259

312

25

861

No. w/ residues

248 (94%)

242 (93%)

292 (94%)

24 (96%)

806 (94%)

No. exceedances of  MRL*

9 (3,4%)

12 (4,6%)

19 (6,1%)

1 (4%)

41 (4,8%)

Average quantity of pesticides (mg/kg)

2,41

2,27

1,91

1,83

2,17

Average quantity of pesticides,

excluding fosetyl (sum)

0,36

0,41

0,62

0,50

0,47

Average quantity of pesticides, excluding fosetyl (sum)

and surface treatment agents**

0,36

0,26

0,33

0,31

0,32

Ave. no. substances per sample

5,9

5,1

5,3

5,2

5,4

* MRL = Maximum residue limit; ** OPP, Imazalil, Thiabendazol.

 

Many fruit samples were found to contain residues from multiple pesticides, in 2013 as many as 734 (85 %) cases (in 2012, 83%; 2011, 81 %; in 2010, 77 %; in 2009, 82 %; in 2008, 76 %). An average of 5.4 different substances per fruit sample were detected, whereby the distribution of the number of pesticides differed by type of fruit and country of origin. Tables 2 to 7 present the results of the residue tests differentiated by type of fruit.  Illustrations 1 to 5 show the situation with regard to multiple residues. The test results with reference to the frequency of substances detected in fresh fruit can be found in Annex 1.

 

Highlights from 2013 (see the following Internet articles under www.cvuas.de)

The newly discovered contamination of foods with perchlorate, as well as the problem with the herbicide chlorate, the cause of which is not yet known, are not subjects of this report.

 

Not all types of fruit were equal in terms of MRL exceedance: all of the pome fruits were in accordance with the regulations, while approximately 10% of the exotic fruit samples were in violation (see also Table 2).
Fruit samples grown in Germany were also examined with the object of ensuring that the detected substances are authorized for use with the particular matrix. The most conspicuous cases of nonconformity were for currants (six samples) and table grapes (nine samples). As long as the substances are authorized and the maximum residue limits are adhered to, the food products may be marketed. The situation will be followed, nevertheless, by the responsible plant protection authorities.

 

Table 2 Residues in Fresh Fruit Samples from Conventional Production, by Matrix (CVUAS, 2013.
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > MRL* Substances MRL* Samples w/ Banned Substances** Banned Substances**

Berry

346

326 (94%)

315 (91%)

15 (4,3%)

Abamectin (1x);
Dimethoate/

Omethoate (2x);
Dithianon (1x);
Etoxazole (1x);
Folpet (1x);
Icaridin (1x);
Methomyl, sum (1x);
Milbemectin (1x);
DEET (2x);
Spiroxamine (1x);
Tebufenozide (1x);
Triadimefon/

Triadimenol (1x);
Trifloxystrobin (1x);
Trimethylsulfonium-

Cation (1x)

21 (6,1%)

Captan (5x);
Dimethoate/
Omethoate (1x); Dithianon (9x);
Dodin (1x);
Fluopyram (3x); Folpet (4x);
Icaridin (1x);
Imidacloprid(1x);
Indoxacarb (3x);
Myclobutanil (1x);
Prohexadione (1x);
Pyrimethanil (1x);
Spiroxamine (1x);
Tebufenozide (1x)

Pome fruit

106

104 (98%)

99 (93%)

0

 

1 (0,9%)

Chlormequat (1x)

Stone fruit

134

130 (97%)

116 (87%)

2 (1,5%)

Chlorpyrifos (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (1x)

2 (1,5%)

Captan (1x);
Dithianon (2x);
Methoxyfenozide
(1x)

Citrus fruit

104

102 (98%)

99 (95%)

6 (5,8%)

Dimethoate/
Omethoate (2x);
Fosetyl, sum (2x);
Methidathion (1x);
Triazophos (1x)

 

 

Exotic fruit

170

143 (84%)

104 (61%)

18 (10,6%)

Acetamiprid (1x);
Carbaryl (1x);
Chlorfenapyr (1x);
Chlorpyrifos (1x);
Chlorthalonil (1x);
Difenoconazole (1x);
Ethephon (2x);
Etofenprox (1x);
Fenpropathrin (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (9x);
Lambda-
Cyhalothrin (1x);
Oxamyl (1x);
Propamocarb (1x);
Thiacloprid (2x);
Triadimefon/
Triadimenol (1x)

 

 

Mixed Fresh Fruit

1***

1

1

0

 

 

 

Total

861

806 (94%)

734 (85%)

41 (4,8%)

 

24 (2,8%)

38

* MRL=Maximum residue limit; ** Investigations based on existing regulatory approval are conducted only for German samples; *** Data too limited for statistical analysis.

 

Table 3 Residues in Berries from Conventional Production (CVUAS, 2013) .
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > ML* Substances > MRL*

Blackberry

8

5 (63%)

4 (50%)

1 (12,5%)

Trifloxystrobin (1x)

Strawberry

109

105 (96%)

104 (95%)

4 (3,7%)

Icaridin (1x);
Milbemectin (1x); DEET (1x);
Triadimefon/Triadimenol (1x)

Huckleberry

1**

1

1

0

 

Raspberry

21

14 (67%)

12 (57%)

1 (4,8%)

Dithianon (1x)

Himbeere

30

27 (90%)

23 (77%)

1 (3,3%)

Etoxazole (1x)

Currant

32

31 (97%)

31 (97%)

2 (6,3%)

Dimethoate/Omethoate (1x);
Spiroxamine (1x); Tebufenozide (1x)

Gooseberry

10

10 (100%)

10 (100%)

1 (10,0%)

DEET (1x)

Table Grape

135

133 (99%)

130 (96%)

5 (3,7%)

Abamectin (1x);
Dimethoate/Omethoate (1x);
Folpet (1x); Methomyl, sum (1x);
Trimethylsulfonium-Cation (1x)

TOTAL

346

326 (94%)

315 (91%)

15 (4,3%)

 

* MRL=Maximum residue limit; **Data too limited for statistical analysis.

 

Illustration 1: Multiple Residues in Berries (CVUAS, 2013).

Illustration 1: Multiple Residues in Berries (CVUAS, 2013).

 

The two samples with the highest number of different pesticides were a table grape from Turkey and goji berries from China. The Turkish grape contained 25 different substances, one of which, methomyl, exceeded the maximum residue limit. The goji berries contained 32 different substances, all of which were under the valid MRL, and thus marketable, however.

 

Table 4 Residues in Pome Fruits from Conventional Production (CVUAS, 2013) .
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > MRL* Substances > MRL*

Apple

53

52 (98%)

49 (93%)

0

 

Pear

50

49 (98%)

48 (96%)

0

 

Medlar

2**

2

1

0

 

Quince

1**

1

1

0

 

TOTAL

106

104 (98%)

99 (93%)

0

 

* MRL = Maximum residue limit; **Data too limited for statistical analysis.

 

Illustration 2: Multiple Residues in Pome Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

Illustration 2: Multiple Residues in Pome Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

 

The two samples with the most substances were a Spanish pear with 16 different substances and an apple from Germany with 17. Both samples adhered to the valid maximum residue limit.

 

Table 5 Residues in Stone Fruits from Conventional Production (CVUAS, 2013) .
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > MRL* Substances > MRL*

Apricot

15

15 (100%)

15 (100%)

1 (6,7%)

Chlorpyrifos (1x)

Avocado

5**

5

1

0

 

Mirabelle

2**

2

2

0

 

Nectarine

22

22 (100%)

21 (96%)

0

 

Peach

38

37 (97%)

37 (97%)

0

 

Plum

32

30 (94%)

21 (66%)

0

 

Sweet Cherry

20

19 (95%)

19 (95%)

1 (5,0%)

Fosetyl, sum (1x)

TOTAL

134

130 (97%)

116 (87%)

2 (1,5%)

 

*MRL = Maximum residue limit; **Data too limited for statistical analysis.

 

Illustration 3: Multiple Residues in Stone Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

Illustration 3: Multiple Residues in Stone Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

 

The sample with the largest quantity of different substances, a total of 22, was a sweet cherry from Turkey, although all of the pesticide amounts were under the legal maximum residue limit.

 

Table 6 Residues in Citrus Fruits from Conventional Production (CVUAS, 2013) .
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > MRL* Substances > MRL*

Clementine

17

17 (100%)

17 (100%)

0

 

Grapefruit

25

25 (100%)

24 (96%)

0

 

Kumquat

7

5 (71%)

3 (43%)

2 (29%)

Fosetyl, sum (2x)

Lime

6

6 (100%)

6 (100%)

1 (17%)

Dimethoate/Omethoate (1x)

Mandarine

5**

5

5

0

 

Orange

15

15 (100%)

15 (100%)

0

 

Pomelo

14

14 (100%)

14 (100%)

2 (14%)

Methidathion (1x);
Triazophos (1x)

Lemon

15

15 (100%)

15 (100%)

1 (6,7%)

Dimethoate/Omethoate (1x)

TOTAL

104

102 (98%)

99 (95%)

6 (5,8%)

 

*MRL = Maximum residue limit; **Data too limited for statistical analysis

 

Illustration 4: Multiple Residues in Citrus Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

Illustration 4: Multiple Residues in Citrus Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

 

Limes from Brazil and lemons from Turkey contained 12 different substances each. The amounts for all were under the maximum residue limit, however, and thus in accordance with the legal regulations.

 

Table 7 Residues in Exotic Fruits from Conventional Production (CVUAS, 2013) .
Matrix No. of Samples Samples w/ Residues Samples w/ Multiple Residues Samples > MRL* Substances > MRL*

Pineapple

31

31 (100%)

30 (97%)

2 (6,5%)

Carbaryl (1x); Oxamyl (1x)

Banana

6

6 (100%)

6 (100%)

0

 

Date

1**

1

1

0

 

Fig

19

8 (42%)

7 (37%)

1 (5,3%)

Ethephon (1x)

Pomegranate

15

15 (100%)

11 (73%)

3 (20%)

Acetamiprid (1x);
Chlorpyrifos (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (2x);
Thiacloprid (1x)

Kaki Persimmon

24

21 (88%)

8 (33%)

4 (17%)

Etofenprox (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (3x)

Prickly Pear

3**

2

0

0

 

Cape Gooseberry

1**

1

1

0

 

Star Fruit

6

6 (100%)

5 (83%)

1 (17%)

Triadimefon/
Triadimenol (1x)

Kiwi

11

10 (91%)

6 (55%)

0

 

Litchi

5**

2

0

0

 

Mango

19

19 (100%)

15 (79%)

1 (5,3%)

Ethephon (1x)

Maracuja

7

5 (71%)

5 (71%)

2 (29%)

Chlorthalonil (1x);
Difenoconazole (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (1x);
Lambda-Cyhalothrin (1x);
Propamocarb (1x);
Thiacloprid (1x)

Nashi Pear

1**

1

1

0

 

Papaya

10

9 (90%)

7 (70%)

4 (40%)

Chlorfenapyr (1x);
Fenpropathrin (1x);
Fosetyl, sum (3x)

Dragonfruit

3**

2

1

0

 

Dragonfruit

8

4 (50%)

0

0

 

TOTAL

170

143 (84%)

104 (61%)

18 (10,6%)

 

* MRL = Maximum residue limit; ** Too few data for statistical analysis.

 

Illustration 5: Multiple Residues in Exotic Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

Illustration 5: Multiple Residues in Exotic Fruits (CVUAS, 2013).

 

One papaya from Ecuador and one from Brazil contained 11 pesticides each. The sample from Brazil had the substances chlorfenapyr and fenpropathrin in amounts that exceeded the maximum residue limit and were therefore not marketable.

 

Annex 1

Frequency of Pesticide Residue Findings in Conventionally Produced Fresh Fruits (CVUAS, 2013)
(414 KB)

 

Photo Credits:

CVUA Stuttgart.

 

Report published on 22.04.2014 15:38:07

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