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Fógra nuachta11 Aibreán 2022An tAirmheán Comhpháirteach Taighde

Towards more reliable measurements of pesticides in wheat

The JRC releases a new Certified Reference Material for pesticides in wheat.

New Certified Reference Material for pesticides in wheat
ERM-BC706 is a new Certified Reference Material for pesticides in wheat
© Almaje - stock.adobe.com 2022

Pesticides residues in food must be safe for consumers and as low as possible, and therefore EU laws set Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for each pesticide in each food product. A MRL is the highest level of a pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in food or animal feed.

EU countries’ official control laboratories regularly measure pesticide residue levels in food to ensure MRLs are respected. For non-compliant products enforcement action is taken by the national authorities.

Measuring pesticide residues remains challenging though. Currently, more than 300 different agricultural products products need to comply with MRLs for over 800 different pesticides. Laboratories have to ensure that their measurement methods can deliver accurate and precise results in all these cases.

In order to achieve this, international standards require laboratories to use quality control tools such as Certified Reference Materials (CRMs), to check if their analytical results are accurate.

The Joint Research Centre is a leading provider of CRMs worldwide and has just released a new CRM for pesticide residues in wheat (ERM-BC706). The new CRM is certified for the content of 20 of the most commonly used pesticides.

This CRM will allow laboratories to validate their measurement methods according to a guideline provided by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety. In this guideline, food commodities are grouped by their composition into ten major categories of their plant or animal origin, reflecting the different analytical challenges in method validation and quality control for different types of food.  

The new CRM ERM-BC706 is representative for food with a high starch content (e.g. wheat, barley, maize, rye). It complements already existing CRMs for high water content vegetables (cucumber, ERM-BC403), high oil content (soy beans, ERM-BC700), eggs (ERM-BB125), milk and milk products (BCR-187 and BCR-188) and fat from animal origin (ERM-BB430).

Further details on the new CRM can be found in the certification report.

Background:

CRMs allow laboratories to validate their measurement methods according to a guideline provided by the European Commission. In this guideline, food commodities are grouped by their composition into ten major categories of their plant or animal origin, reflecting the different analytical challenges in method validation and quality control for different types of food. 

Related content

ERM-BC706

Certified Reference Materials catalogue

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11 Aibreán 2022
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An tAirmheán Comhpháirteach Taighde