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Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2014;229:89-110. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03777-6_5.

Effect of fruit and vegetable processing on reduction of synthetic pyrethroid residues.

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Department of Soil Sciences, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana, 125 004, India,


In this review, we emphasize that the advantages associated with applying pesticides to enhance agricultural productivity must be weighed against the possible health hazards arising from the appearance of toxic pesticide residues in food. First and foremost, pesticides should be handled and applied in compliance with good agricultural practices to minimize environmental or food commodity contamination.In developing countries, good agricultural practices are not fully abided by.When vegetables are produced in such countries, pesticides are applied or prospectively applied at each growth stage of the crop. Hence, contamination of vegetables and other food commodities occur. It is well known that processing of food derived from pesticide treated crop commodities can serve to reduce residues that reach consumers. Food safety can therefore partially be enhanced by employing suitable food processing techniques and appropriate storage periods, even in developing countries. Even common and simple household processing techniques for certain foods acquire significance as means to reduce the intake of harmful pesticide food residues.Pesticide residue levels in post-harvest raw agricultural commodities (RAC) are affected by the storage, handling and the processing steps they pass through, while being prepared for human consumption. The review of cogent literature presented in this article demonstrated differences among the pyrethroid insecticide residues present on or in foods, depending on how the RAC from which they came were processed for consumption. Peeling vegetables or fruit reduced pyrethroid residues the most (60-100% ), and juicing was nearly as effective in reducing residues (70-100% ). The least reduction occurred for foodstuffs that were only washed with tap water (I 0-70% ). Washing RACs with saline water and detergent was more effective(34-60%) in reducing residues than was simple washing under tap water. Freezing is also effective in reducing residue levels and achieved reductions between 24% and 94%. Cooking of food products eliminated 75-98% of the pesticide residues present, so was also relatively effective. When foods were cooked in oils, however,reductions in pesticide residues were less (45%).

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