Mérieux NutriSciences participates in Fruit Logistica 2023 in Berlin, Germany
With a focus on pesticide residue analysis in fruits and vegetables, Mérieux NutriSciences’ experts from several countries were present at the trade show held in Berlin from February 8-10th
Plant protection products (PPP), otherwise 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 Regulation (EC) no. 396/2005. Competent authorities and Official Bodies are responsible for checking compliance with the MRLs, but so are the players in the food supply chain.
To ensure quality and safety, monitoring the level of pesticides is essential for the entire fruit and vegetable production chain. At Mérieux NutriSciences, we have the expertise and global network of laboratories to help produce exporters, import companies, and supermarket chains to protect the safety of fresh and processed products and to guarantee their pesticide compliance.
This year, we were present at Fruit Logistica, one of the leading trade shows for the global horticulture industry, held in Berlin, Germany, from February 8-10, 2023. The event brought together around 2,600 exhibitors from 92 countries and counted more than 63,400 visitors. In light of this event, we collected some insights from a few of the Mérieux NutriSciences experts who attended Fruit Logistica, including Michael Naggert, Sales Manager (Germany); Alberto Veloso, Agribusiness Manager (South America) and Sinem Topçu, Director of Operations (Turkey).
What are your primary outcomes after attending Fruit Logistica 2023?
MN: It was great to take part and see products from companies around the world, and develop commercial strategies with leading food exporters to generate collaborative opportunities for the agro-export sector.
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 make food systems safer, healthier, and more sustainable.
What are the emerging topics and potential impacts in the sector of pesticide residues?
AV: 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.
Single and multi-market countries and exporters can benefit from partnering with our global laboratory network to provide sampling at the origin and the destination.
What is Mérieux NutriSciences providing to the agro-export segment?
ST: 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. With a global network of more than 100 laboratories and a unique quality management system, our results are fast, reliable, reproducible, and impartial according to the ISO 17025 standard. Today, Mérieux NutriSciences monitors more than 900 accredited molecules and their metabolites. It has EN ISO 17025 accreditation and is part of the Fruit Monitoring circuit, offering analysis much broader than only MRLs for EU legislation.
Due to its global presence, Mérieux NutriSciences works closely with producers and exporters, contributing to exploring more sustainable and safer pesticide strategies – e.g., sampling fruits in critical situations and monitoring these residues and metabolites. On the other hand, compliance with updated regulatory standards, rapid logistics, and accurate and reliable reports are essential for importers and distributors in the destination country.