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Get to know your pesticides
October 24th 2022

Get to know your pesticides


Fruits, vegetables, cereals, and animal products are prone to the accumulation of pesticide residues—sometimes, more than the Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) defined by regulations. In spite of proactive production and consumption practices, this accumulation remains a challenge. 

Certain pesticide degrades in fruit and vegetable matrices. These metabolites often have similar deleterious effects (as the parent molecule) on human health. Table 1 shows a selective list of pesticides that could potentially produce metabolites. Mérieux NutriSciences has the capability to analyze these pesticides after hydrolysis.

Free AcidResidue definitionComments on screening
2,4-D2,4-D (sum of 2,4-D, its salts, its esters and its conjugates, expressed as 2,4-D)
2,4-DB2,4-DB (sum of 2,4-DB, its salts, its esters and its conjugates, expressed as 2,4-DB)
AcibenzolarAcibenzolar-S-methyl (sum of acibenzolar-S-methyl and acibenzolar acid (free and conjugated), expressed as acibenzolar-S-methyl)
BispyribacBispyribac (sum of bispyribac, its salts and its esters, expressed as bispyribac)
DichlorpropDichlorprop (Sum of dichlorprop (including dichlorprop-P), its salts, esters and conjugates, expressed as dichlorprop)
DiclofopSum of diclofop-methyl, diclofop acid and its salts, expressed as diclofop-methyl (sum of isomers)Hydrolysis is not necessary if Diclofop and Diclofop Methyl are both included in the regular Multi-Pesticides
EthofumesateEthofumesate (Sum of ethofumesate, 2-keto–ethofumesate, open-ring-2-keto-ethofumesate and its conjugate, expressed as ethofumesate)Ethofumesate, and Ethofumesate openring 2-keto have to be individually calibrated in the hydrolysis screening (Ethofumesate 2-keto is hydrolyzed to Ethofumesate openring 2-keto)
FluazifopFluazifop-P (sum of all the constituent isomers of fluazifop, its esters and its conjugates, expressed as fluazifop)
FluroxypyrFluroxypyr (sum of fluroxypyr, its salts, its esters, and its conjugates, expressed as fluroxypyr)
MCPA and MCPBMCPA and MCPB (MCPA, MCPB including their salts, esters and conjugates expressed as MCPA)
PyridatePyridate (sum of pyridate, its hydrolysis product CL 9673 (6-chloro-4-hydroxy-3-phenylpyridazin) and hydrolysable conjugates of CL 9673 expressed as pyridate)CL 9673 aka Pyridafol is the compound to be calibrated in the hydrolysis screening
QuizalofopQuizalofop (sum of quizalofop, its salts, its esters (including propaquizafop) and its conjugates, expressed as quizalofop (any ratio of constituent isomers))
Table 1: A selected list of pesticides that might require hydrolysis for complete quantitation of intact molecules and metabolites.

Citrus fruits also cause hydrolytic degradation of pesticide residues. Table 2 shows a list of citrus fruits identified by Mérieux NutriSciences.

Citrus productsScientific nameCitrus productsScientific name
GrapefruitsCitrus paradisiBuddha’s hands/Buddha’s fingersCitrus medica var. sarcodactyla
NatsudaidaisCitrus natsudaidaiCitronsCitrus medica
Shaddocks/pomelosCitrus maxima; Syn.: Citrus grandisLimesCitrus aurantiifolia
Sweeties/oroblancosCitrus grandis x Citrus paradisiIndian sweet limes/Palestine sweet limesCitrus limettioides
TangelosCitrus paradisi x tangeloKaffir limesCitrus hystrix
Tangelos (except minneolas)/UgliCitrus tangeloSweet limesCitrus limetta
OrangesCitrus sinensisTahiti limesCitrus latifolia
BergamotsCitrus bergamiaLimequatsCitrus aurantiifolia x Fortunella spp.
Bitter oranges/sour orangesCitrus aurantiumMandarinsCitrus reticulata; Syn.: Citrus deliciosa
Blood orangesCitrus sinensisCalamondinsCitrus madurensis
Cara carasCitrus sinensisClementinesCitrus clementina
ChinottosCitrus myrtifoliaCleopatra mandarinsCitrus reshni
Trifoliate orangesPoncirus trifoliataMinneolasCitrus tangelo
LemonsCitrus limonSatsumas/clausellinasCitrus unshiu
Tangerines /clancy mandarinsCitrus tangerinaTangorsCitrus nobilis
Table 2 – List of Citrus products that might cause hydrolytic degradation of pesticides.

How can Mérieux NutriSciences help?

To address these challenges, we are enhancing our testing capacities, capabilities, and validated commodities. We have been at the forefront of pesticide residue analysis to fulfill our mission to protect the health of our customers. Analytical methods developed by our experts, based on European and North American standards, are validated to detect and quantify (even) parts per billion levels of pesticide residues.

Learn more about our offerings for pesticide testing in our Pesticide Resource Kit.

Contact us to get started.

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