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Call for increased self-monitoring of spices

In recent years, the legal maximum levels for heavy metals, mycotoxins and pesticides in spices have frequently been exceeded. Therefore the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is calling on importers and manufacturers to carry out more checks themselves.


How do heavy metals, mycotoxins or pesticides get into spices?


  • Mycotoxins in spices

Mycotoxins or mould toxins are metabolic products of moulds, which can be formed when spices are stored warm and humid. The maximum levels for mycotoxins in foodstuffs are laid down in
Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006.  If these maximum levels are exceeded, it is not permitted to market the goods into the EU. Mainly aflatoxins and ochratoxin A are detected in spices.


  • Heavy metals in spices


Heavy metals occur naturally in the environment or are released by industrial processes. They are then absorbed by plants via the soil or water and end up in food. The BVL 2018 monitoring showed that paprika powder is often contaminated with lead, copper, chrome and aluminium.


  • Pesticide residues in spices

Plant protection products are used to protect plants from pests. Residues can also remain in the foodstuff if approved plant protection products are used properly. Maximum residue levels (MRLs) are set to ensure that the consumption of food does not damage health. These are laid down in
Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. Manufacturers and importers of spices are responsible for ensuring that they are complied with. Particularly in the case of spices, the concentration of residues during the drying process can quickly lead to the maximum levels being exceeded.


bilacon supports you in your self-monitoring process


Regular laboratory analyses help you offering your customers a long-term safe product and guaranteeing quality. If a product exceeds the legal limits, it can lead to expensive product recalls.

bilacon is your ideal partner in ensuring that no legally regulated maximum levels of mycotoxins, heavy metals and pesticide residues are exceeded and that your spices reach the market and your customers safely.


Click here to view our complete analytical spectrum for spices:

〉Lab Analyses for Herbs & Spices


Would you like to learn more about our services? Please contact our expert directly, we will be happy to help you:

Nicole Schröer
+49 30 206 038 133

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