2008-2009 Pesticides Residues and Metals in Processed Tomato Products

The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) aims to modernize and enhance Canada's food safety system. As part of the FSAP enhanced surveillance initiative, targeted surveys are used to test various foods for specific hazards.

The main objectives of the processed tomato product survey were:

  • To provide baseline surveillance data for pesticide residues in processed tomato products not surveyed under the National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program (NCRMP)
  • To obtain a snapshot of the imported processed tomato products where pest control measures are not under the authority of the Canadian Government

There were 297 (290 imported, 7 domestic) processed tomato products collected and analyzed in the targeted survey. The samples included 10 different types of processed tomatoes from 13 different countries. The top import countries of processed tomato products were targeted which include the United States and Italy.

The pesticide multi-residue method can detect approximately 300 individual carbamate, organochlorine and organophosphate compounds. The multi-metal method can detect 18 metal elements, including aluminum, arsenic, antimony, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, selenium, tin, titanium and zinc.

Of the 297 samples tested, the majority of samples analyzed (250 or 84.18%) contained no measurable pesticide residues, and all samples were in compliance with Canadian MRLs. Thirty nine samples contained one detectable pesticide residue, seven samples contained two detectable residues and one sample contained three detectable residues.

All of the 297 survey samples contained one or more of the 18 metals analyzed for. All of the samples were in compliance with existing Canadian metal tolerances. All other metals (with no existing tolerances) were at concentrations low enough not to pose a risk to human health.

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