New European maximum residue limits (MRL) for Chlorate and Perchlorate
These two anions of chlorine salts, chlorate and perchlorate, can be present in food as contaminants. In the case of perchlorate, its presence in food can have a natural origin from the soil and water or anthropogenic origin, as an ingredient in some fertilizers or added to disinfecting water. In the case of chlorates, their use in plant protection products was banned by the European Union in 2005. That is why contamination in food comes only from human activity originating from the use of chlorinated water in food processing and in the disinfection of equipment and facilities in the food industry.
In 2015, EFSA – European Food Safety Authority – carried out a risk study for chlorate and perchlorate, evaluating its toxicological action taking into account the different exposures to this substance in humans. The European Commission did not include chlorate in Annexe IV of Regulation (EC) 396/2005 and until now the default MRL (0.01 mg / kg) was being applied to all food and feed included in Annex I of said Regulation.
This situation has changed and on June 4, Regulation 2020/749 regarding the new maximum limits for chlorate residues in certain products has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall enter into force on June 24, 2020, twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The MRLs for chlorate will be temporary for a period of 5 years and will be reviewed no later than June 8, 2025.
- Leaf vegetables, herbs and edible flowers: 0.7 mg/kg
- Other vegetables: 0.05 to 0.7 mg/kg
- Berries, Stone fruits, Pome fruits, Citrus: 0.05 mg/kg
- Pineapples, Bananas, Mangoes and Avocado: 0.3 mg/kg
Also, in May 2020, an amendment to Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 took place and through Regulation (EU) 2020/685 the new maximum residue limits for perchlorate in the following foods were established.
- Leaf vegetables, herbs: 0.50 mg/kg
- Fruit and vegetables: 0.05 mg/kg
- Cucurbitaceae and kale: 0.10 mg/kg
- Tea, Herbal and fruit infusions, dried: 0.75 mg/kg
Contact us, at AGQ Labs we test for chlorate and perchlorate in food along with the screening of other poles such as Ethephon and Fosetyl aluminium, accredited ISO 17025.
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