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Accredited Chlorate and/or Perchlorate Testing

Accredited Chlorate and/or Perchlorate Testing

Experience the difference

Chlorate is formed as a by-product when using chlorine, chlorine dioxide or hypochlorite for the disinfection of drinking water, water for food production and surfaces coming into contact with food.

Such disinfection is considered to be an essential tool in the armoury for maintaining a high standard of food safety and providing risk mitigation. The risk of microbiological contamination in processed foodstuff has been highlighted during a recent outbreak of e-coli in Cheese. Chlorate residues (unlike pesticide residues) typically arise post-harvest through food processing and local contamination. Recent reports have highlighted that residues of chlorate are finding their way onto our foods through the use of biocides to wash down and disinfect surfaces and food processing equipment coming into contact with food. The risk of chlorate residues and the risk of microbiological contamination have resulted in an increased and conflicting pressure on food industry to manage these risks.

Chlorate has in the past been treated as a pesticide residue rather than a food contaminant and there is now mounting pressure from industry to make this distinction. Due to the rising health risks that chlorate posed to public safety in the food chain and the wider environment, chlorate was banned during 2010 from being used as a weed killer and herbicide to remove unwanted vegetation from public places. Well documented evidence has proven that chlorate reversibly inhibits the absorption of iodide in the thyroid. With particular focus on vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women or people, chlorate digestion at high doses can affect thyroid dysfunction or iodine deficiency as well as the potential to also damage red blood cells such as the formation of methaemoglobin and hemolysis. So currently the default Maximum Residue Level (MRL) that applies to all plant protection products where no other maximum level has been set is 0.01 milligram per kilogram and this includes chlorate. There are on-going discussions at EU aimed at setting more realistic MRLs.

Food industry is faced with a difficult challenge of balancing risk of chlorate residues and microbiological risk while waiting for the outcome of on-going discussions at EU to set MRLs which are set at realistic levels likely to arise from responsible use of disinfectants during food processing.


Accredited Chlorate and or Perchlorate Testing

Benefits of our analytical Chlorate and/or Perchlorate testing service are;

  • Chlorate and perchlorate QuPPe method - bringing greater sensitivity and selectivity for validated pesticide/commodity combinations
  • QuPPe method - allows analysis of pesticides which perhaps have been monitored infrequently in the past a more cost effective option
  • Accredited (UKAS 'Flexible Scope'), reliable and highly accurate results - allowing you to make informed decisions for your business
  • State of the art accredited laboratory - our Thomson Suite is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the UK, a bespoke laboratory running to GLP quality standards that houses 30 state-of-the-art mass spectrometry instruments
  • Dedicated team of experts - With over a 100 years of heritage, supported with over 350 scientists and technical leads all behind the customer friendly service team dedicated to your business needs
  • Rapid turnaround times - We offer an express 5 working day service in addition to our standard 10 working day service for when you need results without delay

Food Stuff



apples & pears IC-MS/MS 10 working days
strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries and grapes IC-MS/MS 10 working days
oranges, lemons, limes, melons and watermelons IC-MS/MS 10 working days
beetroot, carrot, parsnip, potato and swede IC-MS/MS 10 working days
broad beans, peas, courgettes and cucumber IC-MS/MS 10 working days
broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage IC-MS/MS 10 working days
fresh herbs and celery IC-MS/MS 10 working days
milk (on-farm and retail) IC-MS/MS 10 working days
infant food IC-MS/MS 10 working days

To speak with us about our services, or for any services not listed, please contact the Customer Service Group

T: + 44 (0)300 100 0323 | E:

Consultancy - if you have questions about chlorate or perchlorate analytical development, market acceptance, the regulatory environment, sometimes it requires another experienced person or team to help pull things together and move them ahead. Fera's consultancy service is made up of senior scientists who have broad and deep experience in the food & chemical industries that we can bring to bear on your research project which goes beyond analysis and scientific expertise.

Pesticides Report - Quarter 1 2016 Findings

A limited number of foods have been tested for chlorate for the first time in 2016, to provide evidence that it is necessary to review the existing default MRL in order to take account of non-pesticide sources. The pesticide sodium chlorate is a residual broad action weed killer, which is not authorised for use in the EU. Far more likely sources in food are from chlorine-based treatments of drinking and irrigation water as well as chlorine-based surface disinfectants, which are widely used to ensure microbiological safety. This reports highlights with HSE and the FSA that the current MRL needs to take account of these often essential and unavoidable sources.

Pesticide Residues Monitoring Programme for Quarter 1 2016

Join us for the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF)

PRiF provides independent advice to the government on the monitoring of pesticide residues in food working closely with the Chemicals Regulation Directorate and the Food Standards Agency, to provide independent advice to the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and UK Ministers.

Register your interest here:

PRiF Open Event

Join us at Future Food Tech 2016

Join Matthew Sharman, Head of Food Science at Fera to discuss various issues around supply chain traceability and our innovative whole genome sequencing solutions. Future Food Tech 2016

Visit LIAISON website - Pesticide Approvals, Label Information & MRLs

Pesticide Approvals, Label Information and Maximum Residue Levels - LIAISON provides details of products approved for use on any crop you select

Meet the Expert on Pesticides Residues

Dr. Sadat Nawaz leads the Pesticide Residues team and is a prominent residue specialist. Our services include:

  • Multi-Residue Screening
  • Targeted analysis for known pesticide residues

Telephone: +44 (0)1904 462 440


List of Analytes - Multi-Residue Screen

Download our Multi-Residue Screen Leaflet here

Food Sample Submission Form

Download our Sample submission form here: Food Generic Sample Submission Form

  • Specific Tests - Contaminants, Mycotoxins, Authenticty & Residues
  • Volume Discounts available for maximum batch quantities
  • Extensive scope of UKAS (ISO17025) accredited tests

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