Relationship between physicochemical properties and maximum residue levels and tolerances of crop-protection products for crops set by the USA, European Union and Codex

Pernille Thorbek, K. Hyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Residues on foodstuffs resulting from the use of crop-protection products are a function of many factors, e.g. environmental conditions, dissipation and application rate, some of which are linked to the physicochemical properties of the active ingredients. Residue limits (maximum residue levels (MRLs) and tolerances) of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides set by different regulatory authorities are compared, and the relationship between physicochemical properties of the active ingredients and residue limits are explored. This was carried out using simple summary statistics and artificial neural networks. US tolerances tended to be higher than European Union MRLs. Generally, fungicides had the highest residue limits followed by insecticides and herbicides. Physicochemical properties (e.g. aromatic proportion, non-carbon proportion and water solubility) and crop type explained up to 50% of the variation in residue limits. This suggests that physicochemical properties of the active ingredients may control important aspects of the processes leading to residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-776
Number of pages13
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial neural networks
  • Crop type
  • Foodstuffs
  • Pesticides
  • Physicochemical properties

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