◗ I NAVARRO, R TORREGROSA Y B ORIHUEL-IRANZO. (*)
Over the last 8-9 years, Propiconazole has been widely used in the postharvest treatment of citrus fruit, although, thanks to our Vertido Cero® technology, we have not needed to include it in Citrosol treatments. Citrosol developed a methodology which avoids the problem of Propiconazole residues that are becoming manifest in the packing houses that have been using it.
Following the withdrawal of the authorization of Propiconazole within the EU, the European Commission has notified the World Trade Organization of the modification of the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of this fungicide, adjusting it to the value of the limit of its detection (0.01 mg/kg). The proposed date for the new MRL’s entry into force is August 2021. This may generate a significant problem as Propiconazole is a very persistent fungicide that heavily contaminates crates, pallets and other surfaces that will come into contact with the fruit and be transferred to it, even long after its use has been terminated.
To add to that problem, Propiconazole contaminated crates and pallets pass into the drencher solution during the fruit washing process. Its accumulation in that solution is directly proportional to the number of pallets drenched. In one of the situation diagnoses undertaken to remedy this problem, we were able to clearly establish this transfer mechanism.
As can be seen in the graph, when pallet 20 was drenched we were, at that point, detecting 1.79 ppm of Propiconazole in the solution. When we reached the last pallet of the day 4.66 ppm had accumulated. In a subsequent test, treating fruit with the drencher solution from the end of the work day, we verified how Propiconazole transferred to the fruit — in this case lemons cv Verna — leaving a residue of 0.014 ppm which would exceed the new MRL for Propiconazole when use of this fungicide is no longer permitted.
Citrosol has been working for the last two years on the cleaning of the different elements of the plant to eliminate the accumulations of Propiconazole and, in consequence, avoid contamination of the fruit by Propiconazole being transferred to it. We have approached the problem from two angles: first, the diagnosis; developing the necessary methodology to detect traces of fungicides in the treatment and preparation lines, crates and pallets, and thus identifying where to intervene. And, second, the remedy; looking for suitable solutions through the development of a fungicide elimination detergent, to be effective on any surface and refining the most appropriate way to use it.
It is thanks to the development of our diagnostic methodology, that we have also been able to demonstrate that the transfer of waste from the wooden pallets to the fruit through the drencher solution is highly significant. It is most notable that this monitoring methodology had not previously existed. Until now, a follow-up was done based on the final result alone; on the analysis of the residue on the fruit that, as is well documented, is subject to many variabilities. With our diagnostic methodology we determine the accumulation of Propiconazole on surfaces, in solutions and on wooden pallets, and, once eliminated from those elements, we have the problem solved.
To combat this problem, we developed a detergent, FNG Cleaner, which, when used with a suitable machine and methodology, is highly effective in cleaning even the persistent residues of Propiconazole. As an example, field crates from a fruit and vegetable packing house which had been using Propiconazole for 7 or 8 years, were practically free of Propiconazole (average of 0.04 μg / cm2) after just a few washes.
As a result of all our development work and the operational research we have undertaken, always in collaboration with our clients, Citrosol now has the know-how and has gained the necessary experience to resolve the problem of Propiconazole residues appearing on the fruit.
Jorge Bretó has been in charge of Citrosol since the beginning of 2021. However, his experience in the company spans almost 25 years, during which the biologist has passed from an internship contract through progressive positions in which his responsibility has increased. Today, at the head of the leading Spanish company in post-harvest treatments, he is updating us on the progress of the company, the projects that are being worked on and also an ambitious future objective which knows no bounds.Leer más
Fruit Attraction 2021, the international fair held in Madrid, from 5 – 7 October, steps up to a new era with high expectations and more than a thousand companies exhibiting: Among those the Valencian company, Citrosol, from Potríes. Citrosol have come to IFEMA with their most complete range of ecological solutions, under the “Biocare by Citrosol” name.Leer más
The month of September, throughout Europe, has become synonymous with a return to activity, and has taken on even greater significance in the current climate due to a worldwide desire to return to normality and speed economic recovery. The Valencian Chamber of Commerce kicked off the new economic year by giving the 2020 Chamber Awards last Thursday, September 9, 2021, honoring companies who are the driving forces of the Valencian economy for their efforts, including Citrosol, who were distinguished with the award for 'Company Innovation’.Leer más
Fill in the following form to download the product and system guides.