High content of five heavy metals in four fruits: Evidence from a case study of Pujiang County, Zhejiang Province, China

B. Fang, X. Zhu

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Food safety has become one of the main concerns of Chinese consumers. To establish the main sources of five heavy metals (chromium, copper, cadmium, mercury and lead) in four fruits (pear, grape, peach-shaped plum and orange), a study was conducted using samples collected from fruit farmers in Pujiang County, Zhejiang Province. On average, the concentrations of the five heavy metals in all four fruits exceeded the safety standards. These heavy metals mainly originated from the application of foliar fertilizers, ripening agents, fungicides and pesticides during flowering and ripening. We propose that the government should widen the inspection range of agricultural products for heavy metal residue testing to monitor agricultural products entering the domestic market for the sake of food safety. Local governments should encourage farmers to use less fertilizers and pesticides, and not to use them at all in the later stages of fruit growth. Furthermore, a proper remuneration system should be created based on the quality of agricultural products in order to incentivize farmers to produce high-quality products. Finally, supply chain management by various food safety institutions should be introduced to improve the management of agricultural products
Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)62-67
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • food
  • vegetables
  • contamination
  • biodiversity
  • consumers
  • poverty

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