For food purity and compliance

To protect consumers, we support the food industry with a wide range of services for the identification, analysis, quantification and evaluation of pesticides in the production of healthy food.

The term "pesticides" is commonly used as a synonym for plant protection products,

which, however, is wrong. The pesticide describes the (chemical) active ingredient. The plant protection product, on the other hand, is a finished formulation that can also consist of several active substances (pesticides). Pesticide residues are defined in Regulation (EU) 396/2005. They are residues of active substances currently or previously used in plant protection products [...] and their metabolic and/or degradation or reaction products. In practice, this includes residues that may originate from use in plant protection and biocidal products or veterinary medicine.
According to their mode of action, "pesticides" are grouped into: 

  • Herbicides against "weeds"
  • Fungicides against moulds
  • Insecticides against insects
  • Acaricides against mites and ticks    
  • Plant growth regulators
  • Repellents

Pesticides are used to prevent, destroy or control harmful organisms ("pests") or a disease, or to protect plants and plant products during production, storage and transport.

There are currently 476 active substances authorised in the EU and EU harmonised MRLs have been set for more than 1300 pesticides affecting 378 food products/food groups. Frequent changes in the regulation make it necessary to control more and more metabolites.

In 2020, 1036 events were reported worldwide.

As an accredited independent laboratory, we offer food manufacturers a wide range of services for the determination and evaluation of pesticides to ensure compliance with regulations and quality standards.

 

Services

  • Multi (residue) method
    • Multi Residue Method - MRM. Up to 400 analytes are analysed with only one preparation step using GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. The method is chosen depending on the chemical properties of the pesticides, sensitivity and interferences.
  • Single (residue) method
    • Single Residue Method - SRM. The method is used when the analytes to be analysed cannot be detected with the multi-method: e.g.: when hydrolysis is necessary, for polar pesticides (glyphosate, ethephon, chlorate, perchlorate), for volatile substances (e.g. dithiocarbamates or fumigants with HS-GC-MS), for pesticides that are oxidised, for problems with sensitivity or for interferences.
  • Food Science Centre
    • Process validation
  • Expert Services
    • Conformity and legal advice
    • Audits
  • Safety HUB
    • Our source analysis tool that monitors official bodies in 58 countries and dozens of online media sources around the world. An information system that keeps you informed of the latest safety incidents and alerts.

Matrices

Fruit and vegetables, cereals, pulses, nuts, seeds, meat/fish, dairy and milk, mixed food, spices, cocoa products, tea and herbs, egg products, fats and oils, feeds

Working groups

  • Lebensmittelchemische Gesellschaft (LChG)
    • Pesticides
  • DIN working group
    • Nitrates
  • Working group §64 LFGB 
    • Pesticides
    • Plant Toxins
    • Nitrate/Nitrite

Institutions - Regulations

  • EU, Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005
    • In the EU, Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC (Text with EEA relevance) sets maximum residue levels. This Regulation also lays down provisions for the official control of pesticide residues in food of plant and animal origin which may arise from their use in plant protection. Maximum residue levels for pesticides set in accordance with this Regulation shall not apply to products covered by Annex I which are intended for export to third countries and which are treated prior to export where it is established by appropriate evidence that the third country of destination requires or agrees to that particular treatment in order to prevent the introduction of harmful organisms into its territory. This Regulation shall apply to products of plant and animal origin, or parts thereof, covered by Annex I, to be used as fresh, processed and/or composite food or feed, in or on which pesticide residues may be present.
  • EFSA, Framework Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009
    • Framework Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, EFSA Plant protection products may not be placed on the market or used without prior authorisation. There is a dual system whereby EFSA evaluates the active substances used in plant protection products and Member States evaluate and authorise the products at national level.
  • SANTE, SANTE/12682/2019.Notification process
    • To ensure the quality of analytical results of pesticides in the EU, the guidance document on analytical quality control and method validation procedures for pesticide residue analysis in food and feed has been published. This guidance describes the requirements for method validation and analytical quality control to support the validity of data used for MRL compliance checks, enforcement actions or consumer exposure assessment to pesticides in the EU. The guidance document is updated every two years.
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