EVALUATION OF THE REMOVAL OF ORGANOCHLORINE PESTICIDES FROM COWPEA (VIGNA UNGUICULATA) BY THE TRADITIONAL FOOD PROCESSING METHODS IN NIGERIA
*Emmanuel Eimiomodebheki Odion, Stella Folajole Usifoh, Okhumen Joel Abolagba, John Oamen Igene and Cyril Odianose Usifoh
Daily consumption of cowpea and reported use of pesticides in its preservation could mean daily poisoning, but traditional methods of handling cowpea before consumption could alter the mean concentration of the these pesticides. The effect of washing, heating and dehulling on some organochlorine pesticides (aldrin, o,p’-DDT, endosulfan, heptachlor epoxide and lindane) in cowpea was evaluated. Analysis of the mean concentration of these pesticides were determined using Gas chromatography equipped with Restek column coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Soaking and washing reduces the mean concentration of aldrin, o,p’-DDT, endosulfan, heptachlor epoxide and lindane but not significantly. However, boiling reduces the mean concentration significantly, when compared with the unprocessed cowpea (P value < 0.001). Dehulling the testa eliminated the organochlorine pesticides in the cowpea cotyledon. This study showed that various methods of processing cowpea drastically reduce the occurrence of organochlorine pesticide arising from intake or consumption of cowpea.
Keywords: Cowpea; Pesticide Removal; Dehulling; Soaking and Washing; Boiling.
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