BACKGROUND: Pesticide residues remaining on food represent a potential risk to consumer's health. Determination of these pesticide residues involves tedious procedures of analysis with regard to time and laboratory work. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a possible alternative to these methods. The aim of this research was to evaluate the ability of NIRS to classify two pesticides used for controlling apple fruit pests according to their concentration. Different solutions were prepared, based on the dose recommended by the pesticide producers for apple pest treatments. Spectra were acquired on a spectrophotometer from liquid samples belonging to these solutions.
RESULTS: Calibration models were developed from liquid samples, following the soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA) analysis method. These models classified between 99 and 100% of the validation samples belonging to different pesticide concentration solutions even at the maximum residue limit level of these products in apple fruit.
CONCLUSIONS: NIRS technology shows a high potential for identifying pesticides in liquid samples, according to their concentration, at the levels required by the legislation. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry