A group of researchers from the University of Massachusetts in the US conducted a study to find out which washing method can most effectively reduce pesticides.
Washing could be one effective strategy to clean pesticides off food but some of the plant-protecting compounds that get absorbed by fruits and vegetables might not be easily removed using current cleaning methods.
Researchers applied two common pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole, and the insecticide phosmet to organic apples.
After washing the apples with three different liquids – tap water, one per cent baking soda solution, and a commercial bleach solution, the baking soda solution was the most effective at reducing pesticides.
The researchers concluded that the common household product – could help get rid of pesticide residues on the surface of the fruits, making them safer for consumption.
A part of the study also showed that thiabendazole had penetrated up to 80 micrometres deep into the apples; and phosmet was detected at a depth of only 20 micrometres.