Most of the pesticide residues can be removed by adopting four methods. These methods
should be easily adopted at the house hold level to remove the pesticide residues.
These methods are washing, blanching, peeling and cooking.
a) Washing: The first step in the removal of pesticide residues from the food products is
washing. About 75-80% of pesticide residues are removed by cold water washing.
Washing with 2% of salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residues that
normally appear on the surface of the vegetables and fruits.
The pesticide residues that are on the surface of the grapes, apples, guava, plums, mangoes, peaches, pears etc, vegetables like tomatoes, brinjal, okra require 2-3 washings. The green leafy vegetables must be washed with 2% salt water. The pesticide residues from green
leafy vegetables are removed satisfactorily by normal processing such as washing,
blanching and cooking.
b) Blanching: It is a short treatment in hot water or steam applied to most of the
vegetables. Certain pesticide residues can effectively be removed by blanching. But
before blanching it is very important to thoroughly pre-wash the vegetables and fruits.
c) Peeling: Contact pesticide that appears on the surface of the fruits and vegetables can
be removed by peeling. Steps such as concentration, dehydration and extraction from
the raw product can further reduce pesticide residues in the end produce. The net
influence of processing almost always results in minimal residues in processed food.
d) Cooking: Animal products are also the major source of contamination for pesticide
residues in human diets since the animals feed or fodder, which are sprayed with
pesticides. Pressure cooking, frying and baking will minimize the harmful effect
pesticide residues. Boiling of milk at high temperatures will destroy the persistent
pesticide residues. Refined oils will have fewer amounts of pesticide residues.
Household heating of oils will minimize pesticide residues.
How to Clean Fruits and Vegetables
How To Clean Green Leafy Vegetables