Pesticide residues investigated annually: special focus on control of potato products in 2007


<div>In 2007, the control of pesticide residues had special focus on various potato products, such as crisps and French fries. Small residues were found in about one third of the samples. However, the samples conformed to regulations and the residues pose no risks to the consumer.</div>

Samples of crisps and French fries
A total of 40 samples of potato products and some corn products were analysed. The samples of potato crisps, French fries, potato wedges, sliced potatoes and corn crisps were collected from stores in the Helsinki region. Minor residues were found in 38% of the products. The most common finding was chlorprophame, which is used as a potato sprout inhibitor. All in all, residues of six different active substances were found.

Products safe to consumers
Despite the pesticide residues found, the potato products were assessed to be safe to the consumers. Even with the highest content of chlorprophame found in potato crisps, a child weighing 20 kg could eat 40 bags of crisps in one go without any adverse effects caused by the residues. All the analysed products conformed to regulations.

Pesticide residues are investigated annually
Pesticide residues are in Finland investigated every year in a project carried out in cooperation between Evira, the Customs, the National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health (STTV) and the municipal food control authorities. Control has traditionally focused on vegetables, fruit and cereal products. Last year potato crisps and French fries were selected as the target of control due to their popularity among children and young people.

More on the topic:
The results of the 2007 control programme (in Finnish)

For more information, please contact:
Ulla Karlström, Senior Officer
tel. +358 (0) 20 7724288, +358 (0) 40 4877798,

Customs Laboratory
Kalevi Siivinen, Research Manager
tel. +358 (0) 2049 23267, +358 (0) 40 33 23267,

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