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Does anybody know how to test fruit for pesticides? Answered




Feed it to a fruit fly.  If it dies before it has a chance to spawn little fruity maggots, you'll know.

You weigh the fruit, pulp it, do a liquid-liquid extraction, reduce the organic phase, make up in e.g. hexane and analyse by normal-phase LC-MS. Or like ork' says get someone else to do that for you.


Obviously, professional labs can do this sort of thing. But there are a heck of a lot of different pesticides. While it may be possible for someone with sufficient chemistry expertise to come up with a home test for one in specific (like the MIT student's test for paraquat, 30 years ago), I doubt that there's going to be an easy way to check for all the ones that might have been applied.

I think the best answer here, if you're worried about it, is "buy from a source your trust" and/or "wash before eating".

If it has a bunch of bite marks from tiny little mandibles - it didn't have pesticides used on it.

Test:  Eat fruit for a half century.  If you develop symptoms indicative of pesticide abuse, then you will know.

Simple test:
Was it grown in the ground after the 1950's? If so, then it probably has some pesticide residues.

You can purchase test strips for some types of pesticides, but you need to know what you are looking for. There is an enormous variety in the substances used for pesticides. A commercial screening company may be your best bet if you are a farmer.

If you are just curious about some local produce, an easier method would be to research where it came from and how it was grown. A local university may be able to help with this.