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Q:What is the inhibition rate?

If samples being tested contain carbamate and organophosphate, enzyme activity will be inhibited and the absorption value will change slowly. With the control group as the baseline, the reduced absorption value can be used to calculate the extent to which enzyme is inhibited to further estimate agricultural toxicity of samples.

Q:How is the inhibition rate calculated?

            Control absorbance - Sample absorbance

Enzyme inhibition (%) = ---------------------------------------------------------- × 100

                 Control absorbance

Q:How are the qualification criteria for the biochemistry method established?

The existing interpretation criteria for the biochemistry method were established jointly by the Department of Health, Taipei City Government and Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp. and applicable offices under the Department. They performed the joint test system combining biochemistry and chemistry approaches between 1993 and 1994. That is, they first conducted biochemistry quick screening at the marketplace to intercept fruits and vegetables that were enzyme inhibition positive (EIP), followed by secondary tests applying the chemical approach performed by the Department of Health and the samples would be determined if they violated requirements in accordance with the "tolerance" criterion. The enzyme inhibition rate of 45% was hence established to be the "excess" criterion with the biochemistry method that has been in use for 20 years.

Q:How to read the result?

The inhibition rate criterion was established in the joint test meeting at the Taipei City Government.

Inhibition is over 45%: not suggested as food due to residual organophosphates or carbamates.

Inhibition is between 35% and 45%: suggested more washing while organophosphates or carbamates may be involved.

Inhibition is between 10% and 35%: only minute quantity and safe mount of pesticide may be involved.

Inhibition is lower than 10%: belong to the relative safety range.

Q:Which products can be detected?

At present, there are already more than 200 types of fruits, vegetables, tea leaves, rice, new vegetables, spices, and Chinese herbs, among other agricultural products that can be detected. Except for a few special samples, most agricultural products can be detected.

Q:Which samples cannot be detected?

Fruits and vegetables: Green bananas, Japanese apricots.

Spices: mint, rosemary, oregano, lime, curcuma powder, thyme leaf, turmeric powder, licorice powder, oakleaf ajania.

Chinese herbs: liquorice tablets, Angelica sinensis, rhizoma ligustici wallichii.