Effectiveness of household processes in the reduction of pesticide residue concentrations on fruit and vegetables
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Widespread use of pesticides on food products and the associated risks of exposure through dietary intake require the need for precise quantitative risk assessments. Household processing of food products affect the pesticide residue concentration and plays an important role in the accurately estimating if concentrations exceed legislative limits. The mean or median reduction of such processes is expressed as processing factor (PF) and is unique for each combination of pesticide, process and type of product (PPP). Currently, many PFs for household processes are unknown and a clear overview in literature is lacking. Therefore, this study performed a systematic review on literature that researched the reduction effectiveness of specific household processes (boiling, blanching, washing, soaking, peeling) on widely used pesticides (Azoxystrobin, Boscalid, Carbendazim, Chlorpyrifos, Cypermethrin, Cyprodinil, Difenoconazole, Fenhexamid, Fludioxonil, Imidacloprid, Iprodione, Pyraclostrobin, Pyrimethanil, Tebuconazole, Thiacloprid) present in popular fruits and vegetables between 2011 and 2022. In total 28 out of 121 articles were included and their data extracted. High variation was found in effectiveness of PPPs with studies showing contradicting results which is possibly a result of differences in experimental set-up. In general the included studies revealed that peeling, boiling and blanching were more effective in reducing pesticide concentration. Washing and soaking showed high variability in effectiveness with indications that washing with acetic-/citric acid or sodium carbonate solvents were more effective than tap water, however this was highly dependent on the physiochemical properties of the pesticide. This review provides an overview of currently known literature on household processing factors and discusses important determinants of PF. Moreover, it discusses important challenges and factors that are present in this field of research. By doing so, this research aims to contribute to the field of pesticide risk assessments and increase the public health.