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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Nov;49(11):5479-83.

Leaching of pesticides in tea brew.

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  • 1Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Post Box No 6, Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), 176 061, India.


A cup of tea that cheers can also be an important route of human exposure to pesticide residues. It is important to evaluate the percent transfer of pesticide residue from dried (made) tea to tea infusion, as tea is subjected to an infusion process prior to human consumption. To investigate the pesticide translocation, 13 pesticides commonly used on tea were studied by subjection of fortified teas to infusion. Analytes of interest were quantified by gas-liquid chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus and electron capture detectors. Interestingly, water solubility of pesticides did not necessarily indicate a shift of residues toward their preferential accumulation in infusion. The pesticides with larger partition coefficient (K(ow)) values remained nonextractable in infusing water. Further, boiling for longer periods (extended brewing time) resulted in higher transfer of pesticides to tea brew.

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