Roskachestvo completed a study of potatoes in the Russian market, which resulted in the identification of tubers affected by various diseases, as well as potatoes containing cadmium, the organization said.
The organization’s experts bought potatoes of the current and past seasons, which was grown both in Russia and abroad, in markets and chain stores. “The main attention of specialists was focused on the country and the time of origin of vegetables. All root crops were examined using 181 safety and quality indicators, of which 26 are regulated by law, ”the report says.
In particular, Roskachestvo checked whether illicit drugs were used in the cultivation of potatoes and whether pesticides norms allowed by the technical regulations were observed. “All tubers coped with this check - the experts did not find excesses in the permissible values of pesticides,” the study said.
In the course of the study, traces of chlorprofam (a growth regulator used to inhibit the germination of tubers during storage) and thiamethoxam (used to control pests) were found in Pakistani potatoes purchased in a chain store. “The presence of traces of thiamethoxam indicates that the manufacturer exceeded the dose of the drug when processing potatoes,” the organization explains.
In addition, Roskachestvo tested potatoes for nitrates that may be contained in tubers. “The main thing is that their number does not exceed the established norms (no more than 250 milligrams per kilogram). In the majority of the tested potatoes, Roskachestvo experts did not find an excess of the nitrate norm, ”the report says.
“But there were still some exceptions - the Egyptian early potato from the chain store and the early Russian potato bought on the market. Usually it is the early potato that “sins” the excess, since it continues to grow, the nitrogen metabolism inside the tuber tissues is very high, therefore the concentration of nitrates is too high, and most of them are in the peel, ”adds Roskachestvo.
In addition, experts checked potato tubers for the presence of radionuclides and heavy metals (cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury). “No radionuclides were detected, but for the first time in a long time, experts found an excess of cadmium, which was contained in early Pakistani potatoes from a chain store and market early Russian potatoes,” the study said.
Lyudmila Vikulova, director of the Roskachestvo’s research department, explained that cadmium could get into potatoes if it grew in an ecologically unfavorable place - for example, not far from oil refineries or metallurgical plants. “A single use of such potatoes will not harm health, but if you eat it every day, the consequences will be disastrous, since cadmium is the most carcinogenic element that can accumulate in the body,” she added.
Roskachestvo checked potatoes for external defects. In most samples of early potatoes, the presence of lumps of soil was revealed, which should not be according to GOST, and on last year's tubers germination and green spots on the peel were noted.
“The studied potatoes could not be avoided either - they affected almost all the tubers,” the report said. So, experts found late blight, common and silver scab, rhizoctoniosis, phomosis, wet and dry rot.
“For vegetables, this is certainly a minus, but do not be afraid - these diseases are not dangerous for human health, but it is better to leave suspicious tubers on the counter when choosing potatoes in the store. Visual flaws on the tubers, such as brown-black plaque, dense spots under the skin of an indefinite shape, dark flesh will tell about the potato disease, ”says Roskachestvo.
The autonomous non-profit organization Russian Quality System (Roskachestvo) was established by order of the Government of the Russian Federation in 2015 to conduct independent research on the quality of goods on the shelves of Russian stores and to educate Russians in the selection of quality goods and services. The best products Roskachestvo awards the Russian "Quality Mark".