Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and essential for a healthy diet. Whether consumed fresh or processed, they should be served at most meals.
Fruit and vegetables and cereals alone constitute the vast majority of a healthy and balanced diet.
The issues on safety and quality must be managed throughout the supply chain to ensure safe and quality products that meet consumer needs in the face of increasingly diversified agricultural practices (conventional, organic farming, integrated farming, zero-residue, etc.). To cope with such a rapidly evolving market, manufacturers must be able to rely on accredited laboratories to ensure the quality and safety of their products.
The service by Mérieux NutriSciences
Mérieux NutriSciences offers a complete analytical service to guarantee the safety and quality of fruit (including dried fruit), vegetables (including legumes), along the whole production chain.
The plant protection products are certainly among the most famous contaminants, especially in those agricultural practices that overuse synthetic products. Despite strict European regulation about the nature and the amount of molecules allowed, still are the doubts about safety, also due to the non-evaluation of the mix effect with particular concern for the most vulnerable consumer groups, like children.
Mérieux NutriSciences has a dedicated laboratory for the analysis of pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables, cereals, dried fruit, dehydrated and seeds.
- Multiresidual analysis (> 900 active principles) and single determinations
- Multiparameter analysis
- Anionic and cationic pesticides
- Dedicated analytical profiles for fruits (including nuts), vegetables (including legumes) and cereals, organic food, baby food, feed
- Compliance with 2018 update of the scientific norm UNI EN ISO 15662:2018 (QuEChERS procedure with and without hydrolysis)
- 50 Proficiency Tests/year, > 1000 analytical determinations, > 96% of results within ±2 Z-score
Mycotoxins and Alkaloids
Although known for several years, the families of mycotoxins and alkaloids are so diverse and so steadily increasing due to the climate and the intensification of agricultural practices, which are now a constant emerging concern. The alkaloids are produced by plants as a defense mechanism and can accumulate in the crops under plant-stressing conditions; mycotoxins are fungal in nature and accumulate in the field or during storage due to conditions that favor the growth of fungi (high humidity / rainfall followed by high temperatures). It is now established that these compounds act on the animal organism by ingestion, inhalation or by simple contact, carrying out a series of direct or indirect negative effects.
- Multiresidual LC-MS/MS analysis for regulated mycotoxins, including their main metabolites
- Alternaria mycotoxins (tomatoes, cereals, apples)
- Patulin (fruit purees)
- Ergot alkaloids
- Tropanic alkaloids
- Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids
- Slurry preparation step on request
Inorganic contaminants are characterized by natural as well anthropic origin; they have now been dispersed and accumulated in the environment due to industrial and urban waste, extractive industries, excessive use and incorrect disposal of fertilizers and pesticides.
Inorganic contaminants enter the food chain through contaminated water and soils that in turn affects vegetables and animals. The matrices involved are different and range from cereals and derived products to algae (foods for special dietary uses), bottled water, coffee and beer, vegetables, rice and rice-based products (As inorganic) , etc.
- Heavy metals: Lead, Cadmium, etc.
- Inorganic Arsenic
- Nitrites and nitrates
- Hydrocyanic acid (apricot seeds according to Reg. EC 1237/2017, almonds)
In Europe, there are several GMOs authorized to be placed on the market, whose presence must be specified on the label when above 0.9%.
- Screening of GMO events
- Identification of specific GMO events
Fresh products can be source of microbiological contamination from the soil, the irrigation water, the manipulation or processing. It is therefore essential to verify the absence of pathogenic and altering microorganisms that could alter the quality of the products.
- Pathogens (Salmonella, listeria, E. Coli, etc.) and altering micro-organisms
- Foodborne Virus (Norovirus, Hepatitis virus)
Accredited allergen analysis as of Reg. 1169/2011
Vitamins and minerals
The content of vitamins and minerals determines the nutritional quality of foods, in particular with regard to fruit and vegetables, including nuts and dried fruit, which are valuable sources for that. Mérieux NutriSciences performs complete nutritional analyses in food products, by also supporting the definition of associated nutritional and health claims.
Study of characteristics conservation of fresh (dry) and processed products (IV range), subjected to thermal pasteurization and sterilization treatments (eg. vegetable preserves).
Product quality checks
Quality checks controls according to specific quality standards (eg UNECE, USDA, AFI) for the definition of the product quality and commercial use, with dedicated commercial packages (Standard, Advanced and Premium).
Food fraud and authenticity
Sensory analysis for Quality Control of products subject to production regulations (DOP, etc.).
Authenticity of PDO Pistacchio di Bronte.
Customized projects for the verification of 100% Italian wheat.
- Accredited analyses (Accredia)
- Recognized laboratory by the Ministry of Health for the control of residues and pesticides in organic food products
- QS approvation
- Fruit Monitoring