Reduction of pesticide residues on fresh vegetables with electrolyzed water treatment

J Food Sci. 2011 May;76(4):C520-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02154.x.


Degradation of the 3 pesticides (acephate, omethoate, and dimethyl dichloroviny phosphate [DDVP]) by electrolyzed water was investigated. These pesticides were commonly used as broad-spectrum insecticides in pest control and high-residual levels had been detected in vegetables. Our research showed that the electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water (pH 2.3, available chlorine concentration:70 ppm, oxidation-reduction potential [ORP]: 1170 mV) and the electrolyzed reducing (ER) water (pH 11.6, ORP: -860 mV) can reduce the pesticide residues effectively. Pesticide residues on fresh spinach after 30 min of immersion in electrolyzed water reduced acephate by 74% (EO) and 86% (ER), omethoate by 62% (EO) and 75% (ER), DDVP by 59% (EO) and 46% (ER), respectively. The efficacy of using EO water or ER water was found to be better than that of using tap water or detergent (both were reduced by more than 25%). Besides spinach, the cabbage and leek polluted by DDVP were also investigated and the degradation efficacies were similar to the spinach. Moreover, we found that the residual level of pesticide residue decreased with prolonged immersion time. Using EO or ER water to wash the vegetables did not affect the contents of Vitamin C, which inferred that the applications of EO or ER water to wash the vegetables would not result in loss of nutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Dichlorvos / analysis
  • Dichlorvos / metabolism
  • Dimethoate / analogs & derivatives
  • Dimethoate / analysis
  • Dimethoate / metabolism
  • Electrolysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nutritive Value
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds / analysis
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds / metabolism
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis*
  • Pesticide Residues / metabolism
  • Phosphoramides
  • Vegetables
  • Water / metabolism


  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Phosphoramides
  • Water
  • dimethoxon
  • acephate
  • Dichlorvos
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Dimethoate