Parallel to the expansion of organic products, there has also been an increase in the number of cases of conventional products trying to pass as organic. In order to avoid this form of fraud, a research team has developed a method to detect the use of pesticides during cultivation.
However, things are obviously not that simple. The mere detection of this kind of products on the surface of fruit or vegetables does not necessarily mean that fraud has been committed, at least voluntarily, since it may also have been a case of accidental contamination. At the same time, certain substances not being detected doesn’t ensure that the crop will meet the requirements to be considered organic. There may also be a masking of fraudulent practices with easily washable pesticides.
In this context, researchers have developed a technique that allows the detection of the secondary metabolites that appear with the use of pesticides.
If grown with pesticides, plants absorb these substances and incorporate them into their tissues. In doing so, they generate compounds that are called secondary metabolites; modifications of the original compounds that are integrated in the plant.
Through the use of complex techniques, such as ultra-high-efficiency liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry, molecular traces and evidence of the use of pesticides during cultivation can be detected. The interesting thing is that these traces are present in leaves and fruits, but also in derivative products.
Source: Yahoo Noticias