Italy’s Rivoira Group is preparing to harvest its first crop of ‘zero residue’ apples. The Gala apples were grown as part of the company’s Rivoira Zero project to develop production techniques delivering premium and sustainable product certified as chemical-free.

The company said the apples contain pesticide residues below the analytical detection limit, or less than 0.01ppm.

Managing director Marco Rivoira said the ambitious project would deliver the first harvest of around 3,000 tonnes of Galas this year.

“Our main objective is to provide a product for consumers looking for high quality, residue-free certified fruit,” he said.

“This will serve to further segment our offer by creating an intermediate category lying between conventional and organic, providing a new price range for consumers and higher returns for growers.”

Rivoira said the project covers “every detail of the production processes right along the supply chain, which is managed by a team of technical experts and verified by certified laboratories”.

The apples will be sold in recyclable cardboard trays with Nature Fresh film, of 100 per cent compostable bioplastic.