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Proficiency test on the determination of pesticide residues in grapes with multi-residue methods

This manuscript presents the results of the International Measurement Evaluation Programme 37 (IMEP-37) study, a proficiency test (PT) which was organized to assess the world-wide performance of food control laboratories on the determination of pesticide residues in grapes. This PT supports the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin. Eighty-one participants reported results, forty from EU Member States and forty-one from outside the EU. The test item was a grape sample spiked with 20 selected pesticides. The results of the participants were rated with z- and zeta (ζ-) scores in accordance with ISO 13528 and ISO 17043. The standard deviation for the proficiency assessment, σ, of this PT was set at 25 % for the 20 measured pesticides based on previous experience with similar measurands. The results reported to IMEP-37 showed that the participants performed satisfactorily, ranging from 81 % (carbendazim) to 97 % (azoxystrobin, penconazole, pyrimethanil) of the participating laboratories. However, only 30 % of the participants managed to analyse all pesticides satisfactorily. Overall, the performance of the participants in this PT was good but there is room for improvement in the development of multi-residue methods for the simultaneous analysis of a large number of pesticides with an increased accuracy.