How manufacturing processes affect the level of pesticide residues in tea

Hill Area Tea Science Division, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur-176061, Himachal Pradesh, India
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (Impact Factor: 1.88). 11/2004; 84(15):2123 - 2127. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.1774

ABSTRACT Tea (both green and black) is consumed throughout the world, both for pleasure and therapeutic purposes. Most people will be unaware of their involuntary exposure to residues of pesticides lingering in processed tea and so possibly transferring into infusions of tea. The purpose of this work was to study the effect of green tea and orthodox black tea manufacturing processes on the fate of pesticides sprayed onto tea bushes (Camellia sinensis). The fates of residues of dimethoate, quinalphos, dicofol and deltamethrin in these two different types of tea manufacturing processes were compared. For black tea, the manufacturing process involves leaf harvesting, withering, rolling, fermentation and drying; and for green tea, leaf harvesting, microwave heating, rolling and drying. The two processes resulted in the same concentration factor of plant material into the dried commodity, while the decreases in residue levels were different for different pesticides. Initial microwave heating and dehydration in the green tea manufacturing process resulted in greater loss of pesticide residues than did withering and dehydration in black tea; no significant reduction in residue level resulted from the rolling and fermentation steps in black tea. Residue levels in both green and black teas were reduced during final drying. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry

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