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Pesticide Concept in Foods Pesticides are chemicals used in agriculture. The purpose of using these chemicals is to protect the product against environmental factors such as harmful animals, plants, bacteria and fungi. Pesticides can be used alone in agriculture or they can be used in their mixtures under expert supervision. However, the irresponsible use of pesticides by some producers causes the formation of pesticide residues in food products. Pesticide residues above legal limits can cause serious health problems. It is possible to list the most common known pesticide classes as follows.

 

Insecticides:  Against insects and pests
Fungicides:  Against fungi
Herbicides: Against weeds
Molluscs: Against molluscs
Rodenticides: Against rodents
Nematicides: Against roundworms
Acaricides: Against mites

With more than 1000 different pesticides known to be used worldwide, efficient and rapid analytical methods are required to analyse very small amounts of residues in consumed products.

Today, studies conducted in many countries on the importance and effects of vegetables, fruits and cereals in nutrition show that they have positive effects on health. Although the worldwide trade of vegetables and fruits is increasing day by day, it is not known exactly how much pesticide is used during the cultivation of these products or how appropriate the harvest time is. Due to the widespread and irresponsible use of these pesticides and the desire of consumers to have no residues in the products, legal regulations and control mechanisms regarding pesticide residues in products have become very important.

The “Turkish Food Codex Regulation on Maximum Residue Limits of Pesticides” of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock was published in the repeated issue of the Official Gazette and entered into force. The maximum residue limit for pesticides will be determined and evaluated based on the amount determined. The analysis result for plant and animal products shall not exceed the maximum residue limit values determined according to the application principles. Administrative penalty will be imposed on those who violate the Regulation.