Chlormequat found in peppers

Chlormequat has been increasingly found in dried paprika of late, with the permitted maximum residue level often being exceeded.

Chlormequat is a pesticide agent for grain cultivation which is permitted in the EU. The growth regulator stabilises crops thanks to its stalk-reducing effect against environmental influences.

In fruit and vegetable cultivation, Chlormequat promotes flowering and fruit set, however its use is forbidden in this area of the EU. The maximum residue levels for these cultures are set at the analytical detection limit, which in the case of fresh peppers is 0.01 mg/kg.

It remains to be seen whether the increasing findings of Chlormequat in peppers stems from illegal use in the EU or legal use in third countries.