A recent Efsa survey showed that in Italy, in 2019, non-compliant fruit and vegetable samples tested amounted to about 2%, in line with previous years and within the European average. This was not the case for many other nations. In Laos, more than 50% of the samples analyzed were non-compliant, and there are also problems in Malaysia (27%), Ghana (26%), Uganda (23%), Turkey (7.7), Argentina (7%), and Brazil (6%). All data are based on 2019.
"This means that imported fruit and vegetable products, especially from certain nations, must be analyzed in an even more systematic way than what is produced and marketed within the European Union," explained Silvia Zuccherelli, Maverik Bezzi and Giusy Riciputi of Sicural laboratory.
From the Far East, residues over the limits have been recorded for Dragon Fruit and Passion Fruit, while the most common vegetables to be monitored in Europe are celery, spinach, carrots, cabbage, just to name a few that, in some cases, have recorded residues over the norm.
"Sicural is accredited for the analysis of almost all substances and our multiresidual can detect almost 600 active ingredients. Particular attention is needed for organic products, especially to verify that there are no pollutants in the soil. It happened, for example, that traces of DDT or glyphosate were found in the soil, obviously not compatible with this method of agronomic management," pointed out Maverik Bezzi.
In organic farming, copper is obviously the most present analyte, even if the latest trends are those of a decrease per hectare. Also spinosad, a permitted insecticide, is among the most detected analytes.
"Having control of the situation of what we produce or sell through an analysis plan designed with an accredited laboratory specialized in the food field, allows us to guarantee to customers the healthiness of fruit and vegetables as well as ensuring reassurance to the owner," they concluded.