This paper aims to study the effect of different processing treatments to reduce cypermethrin residues in okra and judge the consumer preferences of the applied unit operations. Deliberate use of pesticides on vegetables has been frequently reported in recent past. Association of pesticides with multiple health odds in human beings necessitates its removal from diet.
Cypermethrin residues were analysed using Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe method and quantified using gas chromatography. Consumer acceptability was judged using a 9-point Hedonic scale.
Significant reductions were observed in all treatments applied. Percentage reduction observed with different pre-treatments ranged from 36 per cent (tap water) to 89 per cent (acetic acid and potassium permanganate). All cooking methods, except microwave cooking, were found effective, as the per cent reduction varied from 91 to 98 per cent. Maximum reductions were observed with pressure cooking. However, on the basis of organoleptic scores, washing was the most preferred pre-treatment, followed by sodium bicarbonate. Least score was obtained by samples treated with potassium permanganate. Among the cooking methods, all samples were acceptable, except pressure cooking. Taking into consideration both factors, i.e. residue reduction and consumer acceptability, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and frying were found to be the best household treatments.
Present study pioneered and tried to establish links between the efficacies of laboratory to the consumer level, thereby judging its utility. Further research must focus on taking this parameter of food safety to real applied research at the consumer level.
The authors duly thank and acknowledge the Head of the Department of Entomology, Pesticide Residue Analysis Laboratory, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, for providing necessary facilities.
Tomer, V., Sangha, J.K., Singh, B. and Takkar, R. (2014), "Efficacy of processing treatments on cypermethrin residues in okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 545-553. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-09-2013-0106
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