National Residue Survey 2018-2019 resultsIndustry Best Practice
The Australian apple and pear industry has once again showed “an excellent compliance with food safety standards and demonstrated the strong commitment of the pome fruit industry to good agricultural practice” according to the latest National Residue Survey results. The industry achieved a 98.4 per cent compliance to Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) for apples and 98.7 per cent for pears tested in 2018-2019.
“This is a very pleasing result for the industry,” said APAL’s Head of Quality and Innovation Andrew Mandemaker.
“A high level of compliance to MRLs helps cement Australia’s reputation for clean, safe produce.”
Every year the Department of Agriculture arranges testing of Australian apples and pears for a wide range of chemical residues, microbiological and environmental contaminants, publishing the results as the National Residue Survey. It has been operating since 1992 and is funded by the statutory levies on apples and pears.
The apple and pear survey includes random pesticide residue monitoring which ensures the industry can meet quality assurance and certification requirements for domestic and international markets.
Up to 400 apple and pear samples are collected each year at packing sheds and wholesale markets. Samples are selected from participating producers with the aim of establishing a nationwide spread of samples covering as many producers as is practicable each year.
In 2018-19, a total of 245 apple samples and 77 pear samples were collected and analysed, and the results were compared with the relevant Australian Standards. Of these samples, 113 pome fruit samples were also tested for microorganisms. There were no detections above the food safety limits, resulting in 100 per cent compliance with the microbiological limits in the food standards code.
Chemical screens are developed in consultation with the industry and take into account Australian registered chemicals, chemical residue profiles, retailer requirements, and overseas market requirements.