Recently I was asked to assess the level of chemicals in some imported Chinese apples comparing them and the chemical levels to local Australian grown apples. All samples we tested at a government lab in Victoria Australia. All being analysed for the present of 200 different chemicals.
Results: These were very interesting with the Chinese apples coming through completely clean with no chemicals residues present. This naturally was a surprise giving the public perception that Chinese farmers use many banned chemicals and chemical fertilisers.
Having worked with farmers in China over a number of years I saw the difference the actual difference between their farming methods and that perceived by the western world. What does seem to happen in China is that some western chemical companies push chemicals onto Chinese farmers, these are often chemicals that have been banned by many western countries, so in actual fact not the fault of the farmers.
The real issues I found with the Chinese apples and this is not a criticism, was
· nutritional quality was lower – they showed a general boron deficiency which adversely affected their colour
· the seed area was deformed again suspecting a boron and calcium deficiency
· the apple flesh went brown very quickly after cutting compared to the general Australian apple
· flavour was generally poorer to taste but only to some who tried it
All the above can and possible have been corrected, by evaluating the soil mineral levels and applying the correct fertiliser elements that will address and correct nutrient imbalances. Understanding that both taste and storage life of all fruit and vegetables can be changed with the right fertiliser program, this applies to everything.
Flesh of 1st picture stayed white while the Chinese, above, went brown. Another issue was that these apples needed to be cleaner for marketing
Bryan L McLeod