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bilacon integrates Matrin into drug spectrum

Potential residue findings of Matrin in fruits and vegetables


Matrin is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in plants of the Sophora family and is used, among other things, as a pharmaceutical active ingredient.

Since the active substance is not currently registered as a pesticide in the EU according to Regulation EC 396/2005 Article 3 Para. 2c, the application of the collection value of 0.01 mg/kg according to Article 18 Para. 1b of Regulation EC 396/2005 is questionable. In addition, the legal assessment of the active substance in organic farming raises questions. For example, the use of plant extracts (as leaf fertilizers or plant fortifiers) is in principle permitted in organic farming. The facts of the case are currently being discussed in various expert committees (RELANA, AG Pestizide, DFHV, DELOG), including official monitoring.

bilacon is familiar with the problem and therefore integrated the active substance (matrin and oxymatrine) into the analysis spectrum. Due to the unclear legal situation described above, we report this active substance in the test report without using a maximum quantity.

From an analytical point of view, a screening of matrine using the multi-method with corresponding semi-quantification is possible. However, only low recoveries between 40 and 50 % are achieved here. Accordingly, a precise quantification of the active substance using a single method (alkaline extraction) is necessary. An optimization of the quantification of the active ingredient in the multi-method is being tested.

According to current knowledge, the active ingredient has been approved as an insecticide in China and a provisional maximum level of 5 mg/kg each has been set for cabbage, cucumbers and pears. Furthermore, the Chinese legislation cites an ADI for matrine of 0.10 mg per kg body weight.

Due to the unclear legal situation, we recommend refraining from a legal evaluation of residue findings for this active ingredient on the basis of the catch value of 0.01 mg/kg until the facts have been finally clarified.

If the source (WHO, EFSA, FAO, etc.) of the ADI value cited in the Chinese legislation is verified, we recommend using it for the evaluation of matrin residues until corresponding MRLs are set by the EU Commission.


Contact us:

Karsten Ott
General Manager bilacon GmbH

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