Pesticide residues in spice paprika and their effects on environmental and food safety

Szandra Klátyik, Béla Darvas, Marianna Oláh, Mária Mörtl, Eszter Takács, A. Székács

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental and food safety of spices used for flavouring in food production, or for culinary purposes in catering and at households, receive relatively low attention, particularly in low volume spice trade networks, even though potential spice contaminants may exert adverse effects on food safety and quality. Contamination surveys of spices generally focus on microbial impurities or mycotoxins. Yet, pesticide residues are also prevalent chemical contaminants in spices of the Capsicum species, including chilli and spice paprika. To avoid human exposure to pesticide residues through food, maximum residue levels (MRLs) have been established for each authorized pesticide active ingredient in given commodities, yet high variability is seen in MRLs even among Capsicum products. The official notification network of the European Union on food and feed contamination, Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), systematically reports on cases of non-compliance of food products with the corresponding food safety requirements since 1998. To assess environmental and food safety and to maintain the quality of the “Hungaricum” spice paprika products, the levels of pesticide residues as contaminants in spice paprika and chilli are discussed on the basis of RASFF alerts and notifications, and on the basis of other contamination cases reported in the scientific literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-218
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Food and Nutrition Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Capsicum
  • Maximum residue level
  • Pesticide residues
  • Rapid alert system for food and feed
  • Spice paprika

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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