Everybody is talking about Zero Residue nowadays. Many companies offer it as an added value, but many big retail chains - both in Italy and abroad - require it with growing insistence. To do things properly, however, one needs to be followed by a licensed laboratory with experience. Sicural performs these kinds of analyses every day.
"Zero residue is when the chemical principles detected in a product are below the equipment detection limit of 0.01 mg/kg, so well below the limits set by law. At Sicural, we can detect traces even below 0.01 mg/kg using state-of-the-art equipment," explains manager Silvia Zuccherelli.
It must be stressed, however, that Zero residue does not mean organic: organic cultivation only admits certain non-synthetic principles. Consumers may judge incorrectly because, as they read Zero residue, they may be led to think no treatment is carried out.
"In case of Zero residue, however, treatments with molecules permitted by law can be carried out in such a way that, by adopting decaying techniques and time frames, no residue is left of the active principles. We can study the decaying time of many molecules depending on client needs," explain Maverik Bezzi and Giusy Riciputi.
Agronomic techniques to achieve a Zero residue may soon be a prerequisite required by the big retail chain. But it is not easy to combine crop needs (especially in certain years) and yields while limiting treatments.
What is certain is that resistant/tolerant crops must be cultivated in suitable areas. What is more, qualified technicians and a licensed laboratory with experience and high-tech equipment are needed.