Zespri said grease found on a quantity of export-bound kiwifruit early this month did not pose a risk to consumer safety.

The kiwifruit marketer said it had sought advice from domestic and international independent agencies on the compounds found in the grease and concluded that they did not pose a risk.

"Having confirmed there is no risk to human health, we now want to focus on ensuring all our fruit is delivered in top condition," chief operating officer Simon Limmer said in a statement.

"This means we will now undertake a process to unpack, check and repack all trays of fruit in potentially-affected packaging to ensure no product with any traces of grease get to market," he said. The same process will be used to check and re-pack trays currently on hold in the market.


Once the process is finished, the remaining fruit would be released, he said.
Zespri had put 1.7 million trays of export kiwifruit on hold after traces of mechanical lubricant were found on some plastic tray liners.

The contaminant on the Chinese-manufactured liners was spotted during the kiwifruit packing process and forced the unloading of a ship docked at the Port of Tauranga.