The „GOLD“ and „PLATIN“ packages have been amended by the actives matrine and oxamatrine due to market demands recently. It comprises the multi-methods for the examination of fresh fruit, vegetables and potatoes.


Matrines are herbal alkaloids, which can be found in plants from the family Sophora belonging to Fabaceae. The brushes and small trees grow in South-Eastern Europe, South Asia, Australia and some pacific islands, in the west and south of the US and in Puerto Rico.


Matrines are used in pharmaceuticals in traditional Chinese medicine. In the WorldWideWeb one can find plant protection and fertilizer preparation with plant extracts containing these actives. The alkaloids are attributed to Den acari- and insecticide properties, what suggests application in ecological cultivation.


The active however is not yet approved as pesticide in Europe. The legal situation with respect to the evaluation in case of detection is not clear, especially whether the provisional MRL of 0.01 mg/kg can be applied (acc. Art.18, para. 1 lt. b of EU regulation 396/2005). An application in ecological cultivation e.g. as leaf fertilizer or plant fortifier would be allowed, as long as the actives are not classified as pesticide.


The DELOG laboratories, to which also AGROLAB LUFA belongs, agreed on suspending the evaluation as pesticide.

By the current state of knowledge no toxicological limits (ADI, TDI, ARfD) exist for these actives, which allow a statement with respect to potential health risks. At present the issue is discussed within various expert groups with close consultation of governmental control bodies.

Our food laboratory AGROLAB LUFA in Kiel has implemented matrine and oxymatrine into the portfolio of actives for the short. We offer the quantitative determination without a legal evaluation within our multi-methods for pesticide screening in fruit, vegetables and potatoes. For our clients the extension of the parameter spectrum no additional cost will be involved


Author: Dr. Frank Mörsberger