Heavy metals are ubiquitous in the environment that root vegetables are grown in. They are naturally present in the soil but may also be unintentionally added from fertilizer application to fields. Root vegetables such as carrot, beets and parsnips therefore take up heavy metals which go into the food chain. Other vegetables may also concentrate heavy metals when cultivated in similar environments, especially fast-growing crops such as squash.The presence of metals in food is of particular concern due to their toxicity. These naturally occurring chemicals can occur as residues in food by a range of mechanisms such as their natural presence in the environment or contamination during food processing and storage. Their accumulation in the body can lead to harmful effects over time and their presence in foodstuffs is strictly regulated.Fapas proficiency tests make use of real food samples, blending multiple target vegetables, from which highlight any improvements that may need to be made within your testing arrangement. This is all in an effort to maintain the highly accurate testing standards your customers enjoy, and regulators require. Our proficiency tests can form the benchmark of your extensive quality assurance programme, from which to make integral improvements to future-proof your current testing ability.