Taiwan’s Bureau of Food Safety ordered a recall on nearly 2,000 cases of Vietnamese dragon fruit on Sunday after they were found to contain residues of the chemical prochloraz, according to Taiwan News.
Only 32 cases were tracked down and confiscated, meaning the majority of the 18.3 tonnes of dragon fruit had already entered the Taiwanese market.
Back in Vietnam, growers are complaining irradiation costs are too high to expand nascent exports to the US. There is only one commercial irradiation service in the country, run by Son Son Seafood Processing Company, which charges US$1 per kg.
Those irradiation costs are pushing export prices to about US$3 per kg, which for a product retailing in the US for US$2-2.50 is proving untenable.
In comparison, irradiation treatment in nearby Thailand only costs about US$0.24.
Vietnamese dragon fruit’s main export markets are China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.