In the first worldwide study of pesticides in fruit-based soft drinks, researchers Antonio Molina-Díaz, Amadeo Fernández-Alba and colleagues in Spain note that strict regulations limit pesticide levels in fresh fruits, vegetables, and drinking water but that regulators have paid less attention to the presence of pesticides in soft drinks made from fruits.
The researchers used a sophisticated laboratory test to measure levels of a wide range of common pesticides in more than 100 fruit-based soft drink samples from 15 different countries. They tested for pesticides such as carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil, and malathion, which are applied to crops after harvest and can remain on fruits and vegetables during processing.
They found relatively large concentrations of pesticides, in the micrograms per litre range, in most of the samples analysed. Samples from Spain and the UK had the highest levels of pesticides, while samples from the U.S and Russia were among the lowest.
Scientists are increasingly concerned about the possible impact of pesticide-containing fruit juices on the health of children, who consume large amounts of such soft drinks.
The study appeared in the December 15 issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry – www.analyticalsciences.org
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First Published in Febuary 2009
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