Results from the monitoring of pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables on the Danish market, 1998-99
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The objective of the Danish pesticide monitoring programme for fruit and vegetables was to check for compliance with the maximum residue levels in foods and to monitor the residue levels to assess the pesticide exposure of the Danish population. Sampling plans were designed based on previous findings and on food consumption data. Approximately 60% of the samples were selected on the basis of positive findings in samples from the previous 5 years. The remaining samples reflected the pattern of food consumption in Denmark. In addition, a rolling programme is maintained for commodities with a low consumption and no detected residues. Within each commodity, the sampling was random. Samples (n=4150) of mainly fresh, conventionally grown fruit and vegetables were taken throughout the chain of suppliers including food-processing companies. Of the samples, 3% were frozen products and 2% were organically grown. Of the samples, 35% were of Danish origin, with 65% originating from other countries. Three accredited laboratories performed analyses of the samples using capillary gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric methods. Results were registered online into a central database. Residues were found in 54% of the samples of fruit but only in 13% of the vegetables. Residues above the MRL were found in 4% of all samples of fruit and in 1% of vegetables.