Food additives and contaminants

Effect of surface waxes on the persistence of chlorpyrifos-methyl in apples, strawberries and grapefruits.

PMID 16751145


The effects of the cuticle and epicuticular waxes of grapefruit, strawberry and apple on the photodegradation and penetration of chlorpyrifos-methyl were studied. Photodegradation experiments were conducted by exposing the insecticide to the light of a xenon lamp in the presence of a film of wax extracted from the fruit surface. The half-life of chlorpyrifos-methyl irradiated in absence of waxes was 9.6 min. The half-lives of pesticide irradiated in the presence of wax extracts of apple, grapefruit and strawberry were 83, 34 and 26 min, respectively. In penetration studies, fruit with and without wax layers were treated with an aqueous suspension of pesticide. The penetration of the pesticide from the cuticle to the pulp was measured after 24 h. Samples without wax contained a higher total amount of insecticide than those with wax. No pesticide was detected in samples of apple and grapefruit pulp. Residues were detected in all fractions of strawberry. The waxes and cuticle appear to have some effect on the photodegradation and penetration of chlorpyrifos-methyl in fruit samples.