Assessment of pesticide residues in vegetables selected from different Egyptian governorates

Sameh A. A. Abuo El-kasem, Mohamed H. F. Naiel, Mohamed H. Mubarak, Fatma I. A. Megahed, Gehad S. S. El-Deeb


This study aimed to assess the levels of contamination by pesticide residues in several types of vegetables collected from different regions in Egypt. A total of 100 samples of vegetables (pepper, tomato, cucumber, and strawberry) were collected from markets in five cities (Al-Obour, Al-Salheia El-Gadida, Giza, Zagazig, and Fayed) and analyzed for the presence of 42 different pesticide residues. The Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) method was used to extract the target pesticides, which were then quantified using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) techniques. The results showed that 72% of the vegetable samples contained detectable levels of pesticide residues, with 21% exceeding the European Union Maximum Residue Levels (EU-MRLs) and 51% containing residues below the MRLs. The detected residues were primarily insecticides (56.4%) and fungicides (43.6%), with tomato and strawberry samples showing the highest frequency of both types of pesticides. Tomato also had the highest absolute intake from consumption (2.89 g/kg BW/day), followed by strawberries, peppers, and cucumbers (0.47, 0.159, and 0.096 g/kg BW/day, respectively). A hazard index (HI) was used to assess the dietary risk posed by the pesticide residues, with tomato having the highest contribution value. These findings highlight the need for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs to reduce the excessive use of pesticides, particularly in relation to raw food commodities. Action is required to minimize the unacceptable risks identified in this study


Food safety, Pesticide residues, Risk assessment, Estimated daily intake, Monitoring

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