ABSTRACT

The presence of pesticide residues in fruit has been of extensive concern worldwide. Pesticide residues in 150 litchi samples collected in the People's Republic of China were measured, and the dietary exposure risks to consumers were evaluated. The litchi samples were screened by gas chromatography and ultraperformance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry for the possible presence of 57 pesticides. Seventeen pesticides were detected, and 70.7% of samples contained residues of one or more pesticides. The most frequently detected pesticide (36% of samples) was diflubenzuron. Carbofuran in one sample exceeded its maximum residue limit by 125%. In dietary exposure assessments, all concentrations below the limit of detection (LOD) were calculated as 0, 0.5 × the LOD, or at the LOD separately, and these assessments indicated that the chronic health risks from these dietary exposures were extremely low. For acute exposures, carbofuran was at 11.08% of the acute reference dose, and all other pesticides were <2% of the acute reference dose. The findings indicated that the presence of pesticide residues in litchis should not be considered a public health problem.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Residues of 57 pesticides were evaluated in 150 Chinese litchi samples.

  • Residues of 17 pesticides were found in 70.7% of litchis samples.

  • The chronic and acute health risks from consumption of Chinese litchis were extremely low.

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