Can we wash pesticides off vegetables and fruit with water?


Does washing fruit and vegetables with water help remove the pesticides and chemicals in their peels completely? (Hang, 38, Hanoi)


Pesticides often reside on the peels of vegetables and fruit, but they can also invade into the flesh. Washing vegetables and fruit with water cannot always remove all the pesticides that lie deep in their flesh. However, it is perhaps the only effective way.

To guarantee the best efficiency of vegetables and fruit washing, you should first remove the damaged or bruised parts, since these parts are generally more vulnerable to pesticides and chemicals.

Then remove the roots and soak your vegetables or fruit in cold water for five to 10 minutes. By doing so, the pesticides and chemicals will slowly be removed from their surface. You can also use your hands to rub the outer layer of the vegetables and the fruit peels to remove the dust, dirt, and pesticides here. Some vegetables will need to be split in order to be better cleaned.

Finally, wash your vegetables and fruit again under an open tap. This step plays an essential part in removing the amount of pesticides, chemicals, and dirt left on the surface of the foods. Try to be gentle to avoid causing bruises.

Keep in mind that vegetables that are consumed raw should not be soaked in water for more than 10 minutes to avoid becoming rotten.

It is recommended to purchase vegetables and fruit from stores that allow you to verify their origins.

Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh

Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Food Technology and Biotechnology

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