Effectiveness of Commercial and Homemade Washing Agents in Removing Pesticide Residues on and in Apples - Dream Health

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Monday 1 January 2018

Effectiveness of Commercial and Homemade Washing Agents in Removing Pesticide Residues on and in Apples

Getting Pesticides Off Apples – Baking Soda

A new concept has been discovered by researchers at the University of Massachusetts who have identified an improved method of getting pesticides off the apples by utilising baking soda. To Wash Apple and get rid of the pesticides with baking soda, it was determined that researchers utilised two kinds of pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole and the insecticide phosmet.

To conduct the research, the apples had been washed utilising three methods namely tap water, a solution of baking soda and water and a commercial solution of bleach approved for usage by the Environmental Protection Agency. The results of Wash Apple method had been reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry of American Chemical Society. The results found the baking soda solution to be the best choice.

After a period of 12 minutes, 80% of thiabendazole had been eliminated while 96% of the phosmet had been removed after 15 minutes. Thiabendazole was considered to be complex to Wash Apple since it had the potential to penetrate much more deeply in the skin of the apple according to the study. Moreover, researchers also observed that peeling the apples could also prove effective in the removal of any pesticide though the key nutrients would be lost with the skin. Hence the ingredient from the pantry proved to be the appropriate option.

Usefulness of Commercial Washing Agent

The study discovered the usefulness of commercial washing agent for the elimination of pesticides residues from apples. Methods that were utilised in determining the effectiveness of various washing agents to Wash Apple of the pesticide residues was surface-enhanced Raman scattering –SERS mapping and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry – LC-MS/MS.

The most effective for Wash Apple method was the surface pesticide residues which were done by sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, NaHCO3) solution in comparison to tap water or Clorox bleach. Utilising 10 mg/mL NaHCO3 of washing solution, within duration of around 12 and 15 minute respectively, thiabendazole or phosmet surface residues was totally eliminated.

Thereafter a 24 h exposure to these pesticides had been applied at a concentration of 125 ng/cm2. Results of LC-MS/MS portrayed that 20% of applied thiabendazole and 4.4% of applied phosmet had infiltrated in the apples after the exposure of 24 h.

The systemic pesticide – thiabendazole infiltrated 4-fold deeper in the apple peel than phosmet which is a non-systemic pesticide leading to more thiabendazole residues within the apple that was unable to wash away, utilising NaHCO3 washing solution.

Peeling Effective – Bioactive Composites Lost


From the research it has been observed that the standard postharvest Wash Apple method utilising Clorox bleach solution for a period of 2 minutes does not seem to be effective in eliminating totally the pesticide from the surface of the apples. The NaHCO3 method tends to be more effective in removing surface pesticides residues from the apples.

 Thiabendazole and phosmet, that tends to support the physical removal force of washing, could degrade in the presence of NaHCO3. In general, the effectiveness of eliminating all pesticide residues reduced as the pesticides infiltrated deeper in the apple.

To Wash Apple on daily application with NaNCO3 solution could decrease pesticides mostly from the surface and peeling could be much more effective in removing the infiltrated pesticides, though the bioactive composites would be lost in the peels.

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