- QS evaluates over 17,000 fruit and vegetable samples from 41 countries
- Low exceedance rate of 0.67 percent is clear evidence of responsible use of plant protection products
- Extreme weather a frequent cause of complaints
The results from the QS residue monitoring for fruit, vegetables, potatoes for the year 2022 once again prove the high safety of the products in the fruit and vegetable counters of the German food retail. Even in difficult times, under extreme climatic conditions, producers comply with the legally prescribed maximum residue levels (MRLs) when using plant protection products: Only 0.67 per cent of the samples analysed in the current evaluation exceeded the MRLs.
For the residue monitoring, QS Fachgesellschaft Obst, Gemüse, -Kartoffeln GmbH (QS) evaluated a total of 17,047 samples from 41 countries of origin in the period from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022. Only 115 samples (0.67 percent) were found to exceed the legally prescribed maximum residue level.
Our cross-border controls and consistent standards work - even in times of crisis, says Dr. Alexander Hinrichs, managing director of QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH, summarising the current residue monitoring results and emphasising the outstanding role of the QS scheme:
Especially in challenging times, it is essential that we strengthen the confidence of customers when buying fresh food with a broad-based standard for food safety.
Most of the samples tested for plant protection product residues originated from Germany (12,742), followed by the Netherlands (1,951), Belgium (1,119), Spain (456) and Austria (221). Of the 12,742 samples from Germany, 6,858 samples - and thus more than half - were free of plant protection product residues, one active substance was detected in 2,477 samples and several active substances in the remaining 3,407 samples.
The progressive climate change is increasingly being identified as a cause of complaints.
In our research into the causes of complaints, we find that extreme weather events such as heavy rain, prolonged drought or great heat and solar radiation have a decisive influence on the uptake of active substances or their degradation or displacement, explains Wilfried Kamphausen, Division Manager Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes at QS, emphasising that these unpredictabilities represent an additional challenge in crop protection management.
Residue monitoring in the QS scheme monitors compliance with applicable maximum residue levels for plant protection products and limit values for pollutants and nitrates in fruit, vegetables, potatoes. It also monitors whether the active substances detected are approved for the product.
QS will present all current results from 8 to 10 February 2023 at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Hall 20, Stand B31. In a qualitas special on QS residue monitoring, further detailed evaluations on residues in pumpkin, plum and redcurrant can also be downloaded free here.