The Journey of Tea

2020.08.28

Food and Safety|Pesticide Part

Food and Safety|Pesticide Part

Tea is not only a crop but also a kind of food.
Tea is categorized as crop when it is at the plantation or roughing processing factory.
It is then categorized as food when shipped to refining processing factory or packing factory.
When tea becomes food, it is then necessary to be managed under food regulations.
Safety will be the first, taste comes after.

-If tea is a kind of food, what needs to be regulated?
Pesticide residue, water content and foreign objects are required to be regulated.

-Can tests guarantee the safety of the tea leaves?
Not necessary, because the results can only guarantee for the samples shipped to the test center, and there are chances that the sampling error exists and becomes illegal.
At Yoshantea, we conduct tests at least twice for all the tea leaves. The first few times are carried out before the tea leaves are shipped into the warehouse. And before being put on the shelf, it will be tested again.

-Is pesticide bad?
Chances are people might get sick, so we need to take medicine to get better. Tea is the same. When tea trees are sick, conducting appropriate treatment not only can make tea trees healthier but also ensure its taste and production volume. What we fear the most is inappropriate use of pesticide.

-How come the standard for pesticide residue differs from country to country?
1. Dietary habits are different.
2. Trading obstacles.

-What do differences in dietary habits have to do with pesticide residue?
If we are able to consume a certain amount of pesticide in one day, the government will allocate the ratio basic on their dietary habits.
If people consume more on rice, the level of acceptable pesticide residue on rice will be raised. On the other hand, the food consume less will only allow a lower level of pesticide residue.

-What does trading obstacle have to do with pesticide residue?
If pesticide A is manufactured by country A, then this pesticide residue will have a higher level acceptance in country A.
For instance, Chlorfenapyr is accepted at 2ppm in Taiwan, but at 50 ppm in the EU.

-What does pesticide residue exceeding the standard mean?
Every single pesticide has its own standard according to different crops it is used on, so the standards are set up accordingly.
If the pesticide residue exceeds on certain crop, it will be called exceeding, which will reach a verdict of guilty.

-What is drug prohibition?
When we spray the insecticide as soon as we see insects on the tea trees, according to the regulations,
Pyrethrum is not allowed to be found in tea, so it is called prohibited drug. Every single crop has its own suitable pesticide. Even when the pesticide effects are the same, it cannot be cross-used on different crops.

-How can we use the pesticide?
Pesticide is degradable when used on plants. As long as you follow the instructions and pluck the tea leaves few days after the pre-harvest interval, it would be safe.

-In Asia, which country has the most controls on pesticide and the strictest acceptable level on pesticide residue?
Taiwan.