The Pest Control Product Act, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), has established Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for Cyantraniliprole in berry fruits which came into effect June 7, 2019.

SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 113/19

Blueberries stack

Cyantraniliprole (3-bromo-1-(3-chloro-2-pyridinyl)-N-[4-cyano-2-methyl-6-[methyl-amino)carbonyl]phenyl]-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxamide is an anthranilic diamide insecticide that binds to ryanodine receptors causing depletion of calcium from muscle cells, leading to muscle contraction, paralysis, and death of insects. This compound shows exceptional insecticidal activity on a broad range of Lepidopera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Isoptera insects and is active against a broader spectrum of insects than its analog compound. Due to low mammalian toxicity [1], Cyantraniliprole is used widely in fruits, vegetables, and cereals in many countries.

As a result of its high persistence in crops, food safety authorities have become concerned about human consumption and set MRLs for Cyantraniliprole in various food commodities exported to Australia, Canada, European Union (EU), Japan, and the United States. Nevertheless, there were no Canadian MRLs for berry fruits in the past. From this, the Pest Control Product Act, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has realized that and established those MRLs [2], [3] in Table 1.

There are several papers on pesticide analysis in fruits and vegetables, but they mainly focus on just a few compounds or one class of pesticide, which is labor intensive, expensive, complicated, and consumes a large volume of solvent. Over the last decade, the QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) method of multi-pesticides extraction was developed by Michelangelo Anastassiades [4] to overcome these problems. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is a recommended instrument for Cyantraniliprole residue because of its high selectivity and sensitivity.

What do the changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect farms and food producers. Any imported fruits designated for Canada must not be found with pesticide residues levels that exceed these MRLs. To ensure compliance with food safety regulation, food producers should seek professional advice.

Table 1. Canadian MRLs of Cyantraniliprole in berry fruits

Substance Food commodities MRL (ppm)
Cyantraniliprole (CAS # 736994-63-1) Caneberries 4
  Strawberries 1.5

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