Analysis of Goji Berries
The name "goji" is a relatively recent name used for the species Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. In East Asia, these species have a long history of use as both a food item and for medicinal purposes. The fruits of this plant, the goji berries, have gained popularity over the past decade due to their promoted health benefits.
As more and more people are becoming familiar with goji berries, the plant is increasingly the subject of debate as pesticide residues have frequently been found in them. In addition, the maximum daily allowances can be exceeded more often compared to other fruits. There are no specific approvals for pesticides for goji berries because of the relatively small harvest quantities. Hence, a lower limit of 0.01 mg/kg is frequently used for evaluation. Moreover, there is high demand for organic goji berries, putting particular attention on pesticide analysis.
In addition to the discovery of typical pesticide residues in the fruit, conspicuous details regarding the substance anthraquinone have come to light with the recent attention to this product. This substance may arise either during the production process, through some interaction with the packaging or from the use of pesticides. Whatever the case, legislators consider it to be an active pesticide ingredient and with a maximum level of 0.01 mg/kg there are legal hurdles for distributors.
Other key factors include the potential microbial load and contamination from heavy metals. Dried berries are also especially prone to the formation of mycotoxins (fungal toxins), including, for example, aflatoxins and ochratoxin A.
In light of these special challenges, Eurofins offers a rapid and high quality analysis service, advice and help in development. Our expert services go far beyond just the laboratory work. Our Eurofins Global Control division allows us to process your samples directly on site. Contamination of goji berries by mycotoxins or pesticides is relevant issue as a result of import controls. We therefore offer you appropriate sampling in the country of origin and analysis before the goods are shipped as an important tool to use prior to import to minimize the potential risk.
Legal Bases and Guidelines
- Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council (maximum residue levels of pesticides)
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 (Organic Products)
- Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 (contaminants in foodstuffs)
Membership and Approvals of Individual Eurofins Laboratories(*)
- German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV)
- QS Quality Scheme for Food
- Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)
- Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN) e.V.
- HDE Trade Services, Fruit Monitoring
- Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), Lebensmittelchemische Gesellschaft (LChG), "Arbeitsgruppe Pestizide"
- Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), task force pesticide residues
Other Interesting Pages
Nuts and Dried Fruits
Pre Shipment Inspection
EOL-Eurofins Online Service
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(*)Find more details about memberships of our individual laboratories at www.eurofins.de/food-analysis/laboratories