New Trends in Pesticides & Contaminants Analyses at Fruit Logistica 2023Food Safety
Mérieux NutriSciences attended Fruit Logistica 2023 in Germany. Fruit Logistica is one of the leading trade shows for the global horticulture industry, and this year the event highlighted new trends in pesticide residue and contaminants analyses. The event was held from February 8-10, 2023, in Berlin and brought together around 2,600 exhibitors from 92 countries and counted more than 63,400 visitors.
Plant protection products (PPP), commonly known as pesticides, are fundamental in the food chain to ensure crop productivity and health. However, in a world where food demand is ever increasing, the use and control of pesticide residues are closely monitored – considering that they can remain in the soil and on agricultural products over a long period, up to the finished product, representing a potential hazard for consumers’ health. The quantity of residue must not exceed the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) established by a country’s regulation. Official authorities are responsible for checking compliance with the MRLs, as are the food supply chain players. Hence, monitoring the level of pesticides is essential for the entire fruit and vegetable production chain to ensure the safety and quality of their products.
In light of this event, we collected some insights and trends relevant to the horticulture industry from a few of the Mérieux NutriSciences experts who attended the event, including Michael Naggert, Sales Manager (Germany); Alberto Veloso, Agribusiness Manager (South America) and Sinem Topçu, Director of Operations (Turkey). Read about our expert insights below.
Key takeaways from Fruit Logistica 2023
Stricter requirements regarding the number of residues and pesticides in food
The fruit and vegetable market has become more demanding regarding the number of residues and pesticides in food. Some require levels below MRLs. These market requirements put pressure on the segments of the supply chain from production to distribution.
On the other hand, the development of new varieties and post-harvest technologies (longer and better shelf life), coupled with a large number of supplying countries, causes intense competition, driving down the prices of these commodities and reducing profit margins. Therefore, exporters, importers, and distributors must avoid any kind of problem once the fruits and vegetables reach the market.Alberto Veloso, Agribusiness Manager (South America)
More sustainable and safer pesticide strategies are needed
Consumer attitudes towards sustainability and green industry initiatives are pushing fruit and vegetable producers and exporters to explore more sustainable and safer pesticide strategies – e.g., sampling fruits in critical situations and monitoring contaminants residues and metabolites.
With new sustainable packaging materials and emerging contaminants on sight, validating food packaging safety has become imperative. And not only for businesses that wish to meet packaging regulations but for all manufacturers that want to ensure their packaging does not pose a risk to their food products.Sinem Topçu, Director of Operations (Turkey)
Sustainable packaging and emerging contaminants are in sight
This year’s main topic was sustainability, specifically regarding packaging, as well as the impact of the whole production and distribution chain, from harvest to consumer. The monitoring of residues other than pesticides, such as heavy metals, was also highlighted (e.g., cadmium in soils in South America).
This topic closely matches our 360° services offering which encompasses the entire production chain with practical and innovative solutions, contributing to making food systems safer, healthier, and more sustainable.Said Michael Naggert, Sales Manager (Germany)
How can Mérieux NutriSciences support the agro-export segment in validating the safety and quality of their food products?
At Mérieux NutriSciences, we have the expertise and a global network of laboratories to help horticulture exporters, importers, and supermarket chains protect the safety and quality of their fresh and processed products and guarantee their pesticide compliance.
Mérieux NutriSciences has over 50 years of experience in pesticide residue determination and a strong network of experts worldwide. We offer complete solutions customized according to the customer’s needs and the type of matrices analyzed.