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National Residue Survey Results 2019-20

Export & Market Access


The latest National Residue Survey results show a 98 per cent compliance level in apples and pears tested in 2019-2020.

Every year the National Residue Survey tests Australian apples and pears for a range of chemical residues and environmental contaminants. It has been operating since 1998 and is funded by the statutory levies on apples and pears.

Key points

  • In 2019–20, the overall compliance with Australian standards was 99.7 percent.
  • Australian pome fruit producers continue to demonstrate a high degree of good agricultural practice.
  • The National Residue Survey’s quality management system is ISO 9001:2015 certified.

From January 2018 it was  expanded to include microbiological and metal screening in addition to the pesticide residue analysis already in place.

The apple and pear program covers random residue monitoring which ensures the industry can meet quality assurance and certification requirements for domestic and international markets.

Approximately 300 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 to establish a nationwide spread of samples covering as many producers as is practicable each year.

Chemical screens are developed in consultation with the industry and take into account Australian registered chemicals, chemical residue profiles and overseas market requirements.


In 2019–20, a total of 389 pome fruit and juice samples were collected for residue analysis. The results were compared with Australian standards and where appropriate, relevant international standards. All 365 fruit samples were subjected to a multi-residue screen and the 24 juice samples were tested for patulin.

This year 215 samples were tested for metals in addition to the multi-residue screen. The results indicated detections only of arsenic, cadmium and copper. These low-level detections help reinforce the contaminant-free status of Australian pome fruits. In addition to the multi-residue screen and metal screen, 196 pome fruit samples were tested for microorganisms and food pathogens. None of the samples had contaminants detected above the Limit of Reporting (LOR).

The results show excellent compliance with Australian food safety standards and demonstrate the strong commitment of the pome fruit industry to good agricultural practice.

Read the National Residue Survey 2019–20 Pome Fruit    (Chinese Simplified version).

The 2019–20 summary datasets  for the pome fruit program are published on the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s website


Further information

Limiting chemical residues on apples and pears

Chemical use Export National Residue Survey

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