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Does cooking destroy pesticide residues? © iStock

Can cooking destroy pesticide residues?

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Washing; peeling; cooking... What's the best way to ensure that you remove all pesticide residue from your produce when preparing food?

Asked by: Rachel Ormsby, Preston

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Most pesticides are complex organic molecules and these tend not to be very heat stable. But reliably breaking down all pesticide molecules would likely require prolonged exposure to temperatures well over 100ºC, so you can’t rely on ordinary cooking to remove all traces.

Peeling or washing fruit and vegetables does more to reduce pesticide levels than cooking, but the only way to be entirely sure is to stick to organic produce.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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