Residue Analysis

Range of Services for Residue Analysis

Insecticides – Herbicides – Acaricides – Growth Regulators – Fungicides – Sprout Inhibitors – Rodenticides – Nematicides

Plant protection products or pesticides have a wide variety of uses. They are used to prevent the loss of harvests to pest infestations, to ensure the quality of vegetable products or to hinder the growth of weeds. As a producer, manufacturer or retailer of foodstuffs, you would like to know whether pesticide residues are contained within your products. You need to be able to guarantee that any pesticides identified comply with the legal requirements of both Germany and the EU.

In the European Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, so-called Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) have been defined for numerous pesticides and their metabolites and degradation products, and these must be strictly adhered to whenever these substances are used. The national regulations for the maximum residue limits regulation also includes further substances such as safeners and synergists.

Alongside compliance with the maximum pesticide limits in conventional goods, the monitoring of products from controlled organic cultivation is continuing to increase in topicality and relevance. Legal assessment of such products is performed in accordance with the EU Ecological Directive as well as on the basis of the specific tolerance levels of national and international organic associations.

At SGS Institut Fresenius, we can offer you experienced testers and high-quality residue analysis as well as legal classifications for all areas in the production and retailing of foodstuffs. We will be very happy to provide support for any questions that you have about the subject of the analysis of pesticides.

Discover more about our range of analytical services or request a quotation for residue analyses:

Or you can call us. You can reach the employees responsible for quotations at the SGS Institut Fresenius location in Berlin on +49 30 34607-716 /-700 (central).

Read more about our range of pesticide analysis services in the following text.

The Analysis Methods of SGS Institut Fresenius

  • GC-MS - gas chromatography- mass spectrometry
  • GC-MS/MS - gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
  • LC-MS/MS - liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry
  • GPC - gel permeation chromatography
  • GC- FPD - gas chromatography with flame photometric detector
  • GC-LC-FID- gas chromatography-liquid chromatography-flame ionisation detection

We are able to perform analyses for you using the following analyses methods accredited in accordance with DIN EN ISO / IEC 17025:

Multi-methods for Pesticide Analysis

Multi-method ASU L00.00-115

Areas of Application: fruits, vegetables, tea (Camellia sinensis), fruit teas, cereals, pulses
In this method, processing is performed using the QuEChERS-Method, which has been well established and officially recognised for a number of years. QuEChERS stands for Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe and describes a multi-method which is able to detect a large number of substances simultaneously. Sample preparation is performed by extracting the analytes with acetonitrile, and then measurements and quantification are performed using GC-MS, GC-FPD, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS.

Multi-method ASU L00.00-34

Areas of Application: herbs; spices, complex fruit teas, cooking oil, fats and high-fat foodstuffs; upon request also for fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses and tea (Camellia sinensis) as well as foodstuffs of animal origin
Pesticide determination using the advanced DFG S19 method is concealed within this officially recognised multi-method. With the help of DFG S19, it is possible to record a large number of active substances, particularly in strongly matrix-arranged foodstuffs such as herbs or products with high fat contents. After clean-up using GPC (gel permeation chromatography), the pesticide residues will be identified using GC-MS, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS.

Individual and Group Methods of Pesticide Analysis


Dithiocarbamates are used in a large number of varieties of fruits and vegetables as a foliar fungicide. Maneb, Mancozeb, Metiram, Propineb and Zineb, among others, are used in agriculture. Individual identification cannot be performed for these active ingredient substances in routine analysis, which is why the hydrolysis product CS2 (carbon disulphide) is analysed using GC.

Inorganic total bromide

Inorganic total bromide is measured using the official method ASU L 00.00-36 with GC. Please observe that upon the detection of bromide, it is not possible to identify whether the bromide is a residue from a fumigation with methyl bromide (bromomethane) or if it is of geogenic origin (for example arable land in proximity to the sea).

Chlormequat / Mepiquat

Chlormequat / Mepiquat rank among the growth regulators (stalk-reducing substances) that are frequently used in the cultivation of grain to prevent grain wastage and grain fall. The active ingredient is also sometimes used in fruit cultivation to increase the crop yields (the number of fruits will be increased and less fruit will fall). Analysis is performed using LC-MS/MS.


Ethephon is used as a growth regulator for, among other purposes, the advancement of ripening (e.g. for apples, peppers, tomatoes and bananas), bloom identification (e.g. for pineapples) or for separation of the fruits (e.g. for cherries or gooseberries). The effect is based on the release of ethene (ethylene) that is reabsorbed by the plants and interferes with the growth processes as a hormone. Identification is performed using ion-pair chromatography (IPC-MS/MS).

Maleic hydrazide

Maleic hydrazide is also a growth regulator that is approved for usage in the EU for use with potatoes and onions, among other uses. Maleic hydrazide is also used in combination with other pesticides as a herbicide. The effect is based upon inhibiting the cell division (mitosis) in the root vegetation points. By this method, budding and growth of the roots is impeded. Maleic hydrazide is measured using LC-MS/MS.


Dodine is used as a fungicide in the cultivation of pomaceous and stone fruits, particularly apricots. It also possesses a limited curative effect against apple scab. Dodine can be qualitatively identified with the multi-method (ASU L 00.00-115); quantitative evidence can, however, only be obtained by individual determination using LC-MS/MS.


Fosetyl-Aluminium is used with strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, grapes and citrus fruits, among others. It is used as a systemic fungicide against rot and decay, fires and mildew and is absorbed very quickly via the leaves and roots; it is measured using LC-MS/MS.


Glyphosate is used as a non-selective pre-emergent herbicide and can also be used in viticulture and fruit cultivation if the leaf system is not at ground level. The active substance has achieved particular importance in the cultivation of genetically modified plants such as soybeans, rapeseed and maize which demonstrate a resistance against glyphosate. Glyphosate has been identified increasingly in the past few years in pulses and oilseeds.

Acidic Herbicides

Acidic Herbicides are carboxylic acids which act as herbicides. They are used either as salts or as esters. They are used in the cultivation of grains against dicotyledonous plants such as thistles and chamomiles. They act against annual and multi-annual weeds in the cultivation of cotton, soya, stone fruits, asparagus and coffee, but find general usage with all cultivated plants. Identification is performed after hydrolysis of all salts and esters into their respective carboxylic acids using LC-MS/MS.

Pentachlorophenol (PCP)

Pentachlorophenol (PCP) has fungicidal properties and is used as a wood preservative as well as in the leather and textile industries. In Germany, PCP has been banned since 1989. However, it can still be used in other countries, which means that foodstuffs could become contaminated upon contact with wood, leather and textiles.

NDL-PCB (Non-Dioxin-Like Polychlorinated Biphenyl)

NDL-PCB (Non-Dioxin-Like Polychlorinated Biphenyl) - Polychlorinated Biphenyl was used in the past as a hydraulic oil in transformers or varnishes, but the manufacturing and use of NDL-PCB has not been allowed for decades. PCBs that belong to the group of environmental pollutants are ubiquitously present due to the persistency of the substances and the improper disposal methods. Investigations have shown that NDL-PCBs (PCB 28, PCB 52, PCB 101, PCB 138, PCB 153, PCB 180) constitute approximately 90% of the total amount of PCBs.

Phosphine / Phosphane

Phosphine / Phosphane – also known by the designations hydrogen phosphide or aluminium phosphide or by the molecular formula PH3, it is used as a fumigant in supply stock protection (container fumigation). When investigating for their presence in foodstuffs, they should be sent to the laboratory in as gas-tight condition as possible.

Toxaphene/ Camphechlor

Toxaphene/ Camphechlor are chlorinated substances that were used as insecticides for livestock and also in the production of cotton. In accordance with the Stockholm Convention, Toxaphene has been banned for decades as the substance is one of the so-called "Dirty Dozen." The compounds accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals, in particular that of fish, and hence make their way into the human organism. The indicator substances Parlar 26, 50 und 62 are investigated.


Nicotine was used in the 1970’s as an insecticide but its usage is banned in the EU nowadays. Because nicotine was identified in dried mushrooms a few years ago, SGS Institut Fresenius also provides pesticide analysis for this parameter.


Anthraquinone is used as a raw material additive for the production of paper, cardboard and cardboard boxes. If these were used as packaging materials for foodstuffs, then transfer to foodstuffs (migration) is possible. This is determined analytically using GC-MS/MS.

Further methods for undesirable substances:

MOSH/MOAH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons / Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

MOSH/MOAH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons / Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons) Foodstuffs that are packaged in paper or cardboard boxes could contain residues of mineral oil. This is caused by printing inks that are used directly in the printing process or alternatively that are transferred to the foodstuff from recycled paper or cardboard.

QAC (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds)

QAC (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) such as DDAC and BAC are used as cleaning agents and disinfecting agents as well as plant strengtheners. Levels over the detection limits could be verified in fruits, vegetables and foodstuffs of animal origin.



Gebäude B3, 2. OG (sample receipt)
Tegeler Weg 33
D-10589 Berlin
t +49 30 34607-700
f +49 30 34607-710
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