How can I effectively free my apples from pesticides?
If you want to eat an apple, you should of course wash it off thoroughly. But is simply washing off with water enough to remove any pesticides from the apples? Researchers are now looking at how we should clean our apples to free them from pesticides. The experts advise soaking apples in a solution of baking soda and water for cleaning.
The University of Massachusetts scientists found in their current investigation that a solution of baking soda and water can be used to remove pesticides from apples. Consumer Reports has now published a press release with instructions on how to properly clean apples.
Food pesticides can be fatal to humans
If you are an apple lover but do not always buy organic apples, you should definitely wash the apples before eating them. The reason for this is simple: apples could have pesticides on their surface. Such pesticides can then be absorbed by the body and lead to serious health problems. Recently, there was a case in Argentina in which a young girl died after eating a tangerine contaminated with pesticides.
Be sure to clean your apples before eating them
When you buy apples in grocery stores, they have been washed in a bleaching solution and rinsed off before sale, explains University of Massachusetts author Lili He. However, the purpose of this cleaning is to remove dirt and harmful microbes that are normally on the fruit. The process will not be carried out to remove any pesticides, the expert added. So if you want to reduce exposure to pesticides, be sure to thoroughly clean your apples at home before consuming the apples.
Apples were cleaned with different solutions
To test how effective different washing methods are at removing pesticides, the researchers bought organic apples of any variety and then treated them with two pesticides that are commonly used on apples. One of these pesticides was created so that it can even penetrate the fruit. The scientists then washed the various groups of apples in a bleaching solution, which is also used in commercial processing. The researchers also washed the apples with a soda-water solution or clear water.
It takes up to 15 minutes before all pesticides have been removed
It was surprising to find out how long it took to wash away the pesticides, the scientists say. Immersing the apples in the caustic soda for only two minutes removed more pesticides than soaking them in the bleach solution for two minutes. It was also more effective than washing for two minutes under tap water. Nevertheless, it took a full 12 to 15 minutes in the baking soda solution to completely remove the pesticides.
Some pesticides can penetrate the fruit
Apple production uses dozens of pesticides, and scientists have only studied two of the commonly used pesticides. No matter how thoroughly you clean your apples, you may still not be able to remove all of the chemicals because some can get into the fruit. This depends on which pesticides were used and when they were applied. "It's still good to hear that sodium bicarbonate cleaning is effective in removing some pesticides," said James Rogers, director of food safety and research at Consumer Reports.
How do I wash my fruits properly?
You should immediately wash your purchased products under running water when you bring them home. The longer the pesticides are on the fruit and vegetables, the deeper they are absorbed, the researchers explain. This makes it difficult to remove them effectively. With some products it is not possible to wash them off immediately, because the process accelerates spoilage with berries and mushrooms, for example. For further cleaning, you can also soak other fruits in a solution of a teaspoon of baking soda and two cups of water for at least two minutes. The fruit should then be rinsed off again with tap water before consumption, the scientists advise. (as)