High pesticide levels found in fruit-based drinks in some countries outside U. S.

December 15, 2008
High pesticide levels found in fruit-based drinks in some countries outside U. S.
Elevated levels of pesticides appear in fruit-based soft drinks in many countries, scientists report. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

In the first worldwide study of pesticides in fruit-based soft drinks, researchers in Spain are reporting relatively high levels of pesticides in drinks in some countries, especially the United Kingdom and Spain. Drinks sampled from the United States, however, had relatively low levels, the researchers note. Their study is scheduled for the December 15 issue of ACS' Analytical Chemistry.

In the report, Antonio Molina-Díaz, Amadeo Fernández-Alba and colleagues note that strict regulations limit pesticide levels in fresh fruits, vegetables, and drinking water. However, regulators have paid less attention to the presence of pesticides in soft drinks made from fruits. Scientists are increasingly concerned about the possible impact of pesticide-containing fruit juices on the health of children, who tend to consume large amounts of such soft drinks, they add.

The scientists used a sophisticated lab 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, and 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 liter range, in most of the samples analyzed. Samples from Spain and the U. K. had the highest levels of pesticides, while samples from the U. S. and Russia were among the lowest. "Steps should be taken toward the removal of pesticides in these beverages by changing the way they are manufactured," the researchers conclude.

Article: "Determination of Pesticide Residues in Fruit-Based Soft Drinks"

Source: ACS

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not rated yet Dec 16, 2008
The study covered fruit-based drinks where the fruit content was about 5-10%. The pesticides were nearly all found to have come from the peel(mainly of citrus fruits).

From just skipping through the report it seems they make no comment about 100% fruit juices, which on a simple pro rata basis would have 10 to 20 times the amount of pesticide found.

Hopefully, fruit juices are processed in a way which completely excludes the peel; and are covered by more vigilant testing.
not rated yet Dec 17, 2008
An afterthought.

I didn't notice any reference to drinks based on grape juice in the report. Since it would be virtually impossible to separate the peel of a grape before processing, the proposed solution for this sort of fruit cannot be implemented.

Not interested? Well anybody who drinks wine should be. Outside the US or otherwise.

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