Household vegetable processing practices influencing occurrence of pesticide residues in ready‐to‐eat vegetables
Kiwango, Purificator A.
Kimanya, Martin E.
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Influence of vegetable processing on pesticide residues in ready‐to‐eat vegetables studied at the experimental level does not necessarily reflect actual situation at household level. This study assessed influence of household vegetable processing practices on pesticide residues in ready‐to‐eat vegetables at household level in Arusha, Tanzania. Data on vegetable handling practices were collected through observations and physical interviews in 70 households. Samples of raw and ready‐to‐eat vegetables were collected from the households for pesticide residues analysis. Detectable pesticide levels were found in 46% of raw and 14% of ready‐to‐eat vegetable samples. Pesticide residues detected were in the groups of organophosphates (22.8%), pyrethroids (14.3%), organochlorines (7.14%), benzoic acids (7.14%), and carbamates (5.71%). Unauthorized pesticides (dichlorvos, tetramethrin, and bendiocarb) and environmentally persistent pesticide (dieldrin) were found at levels above their respective maximum residue levels. Washing of vegetables twice or more (p = .01) or peeling (p = .008) was significantly associated with reduction of pesticide residues. There was a significant association between occurrence of pesticide residues in ready‐to‐eat vegetables and washing of minor ingredients with the water used to wash major ingredients (p = .001). Household practices of washing of vegetables with portable water followed with peeling can reduce pesticide residue levels significantly.