Effects of food processing on pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables: a meta-analysis approach

Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan;48(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.10.031. Epub 2009 Oct 29.


Pesticides are widely used in food production to increase food security despite the fact that they can have negative health effects on consumers. Pesticide residues have been found in various fruits and vegetables; both raw and processed. One of the most common routes of pesticide exposure in consumers is via food consumption. Most foods are consumed after passing through various culinary and processing treatments. A few literature reviews have indicated the general trend of reduction or concentration of pesticide residues by certain methods of food processing for a particular active ingredient. However, no review has focused on combining the obtained results from different studies on different active ingredients with differences in experimental designs, analysts and analysis equipment. In this paper, we present a meta-analysis of response ratios as a possible method of combining and quantifying effects of food processing on pesticide residue levels. Reduction of residue levels was indicated by blanching, boiling, canning, frying, juicing, peeling and washing of fruits and vegetables with an average response ratio ranging from 0.10 to 0.82. Baking, boiling, canning and juicing indicated both reduction and increases for the 95% and 99.5% confidence intervals.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Cooking
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Handling*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis*
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Pesticide Residues