To better wash the apples and be more likely to remove – at least from the outside –  pesticides, you should use neither just water nor a solution of water and bleach. According to a new research conducted in the United States there is another more natural and effective way, quite new for us: it is about using sodium bicarbonate!


Researchers at the University of Massachusetts recently conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, to find the best way to eliminate most pesticides from fruit.

In the study, the researchers used Gala variety apples (unfortunately we know that apples are just one of the richest pesticide fruits) on which were added two common pesticides: an insecticide called Fosmet and a fungicide known as Tiabendazole. These chemicals remained on apples for 24 hours.

The researchers then washed the fruits using three different types of liquids. The first one was simply water, the second one was a mix of water and sodium bicarbonate, while the third one was a solution based on commercial bleach approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

By measuring the chemicals left on the surface and inside the fruits, the researchers found out that it was the water and sodium bicarbonate solution (a dose of one bicarbonate spoon every two cups of water) to be the best for remove pesticides even compared to bleach-based one.

After a 12-15 minutes bathing with water and bicarbonate, in fact, the chemicals were significantly reduced: 80% of Tiabendazole was removed and 96% of Fosmet was eliminated. Bleach, on the other hand, has shown itself to be able to effectively reduce the microbial load, but not the pesticides present on the fruit.

The bad news of course is that, even using sodium bicarbonate, it is not possible in any way to eliminate all the harmful substances that remain, about 20% in the case of fungicide and 4% with regard to the insecticide, immersed in the peel and also inside the apple.

Since pesticides pollute, are harmful to animals and still end, at least in part, in our organism, we advise you as always to choose as much as possible fruits and vegetables from organic farming. Also in this case it is good to wash vegetables and fruit, but for example in the case of apples we can consume them with more tranquility also with the peel that we know is particularly rich in nutrients and beneficial.