Quantitative analysis of fresh tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) for trace of pesticide residues from markets in Peshawar, Pakistan, using High Performance Thin Liquid Chromatography technique
Background: Vegetables and fruits are vital constituents of human diet, as it provides necessary minerals and nutrients to human body to carry out biological reactions and provide protection against various diseases and injuries. Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) is consider as cash crop in Asian countries and are fine source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin K, and other bioactive compounds including, phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoids, and alkaloids. Similar to other crops, tomato quality and yield is also affected by pests. Globally, approximately 37.8% of tomato yield is spoiled due to pests. To maintain the vegetable quality and attain more yields, pest management approaches are applied, though extensive use of toxic pesticides are becoming a part of our food chain and causing adverse effects.
Methodology: The present research is intended to evaluate the levels of toxic pesticides in different tomato varieties collected from four vegetable markets (Hayatabad Phase 1, Chargano Chowk, Kohat Road and Tarnab farm) in Peshawar, Pakistan. After collection of tomato samples, level of pesticide residues (Cyhalothrin, Cypermethrin, Chlorpyrifos, Bifenthrin, and Imidacloprid) were detected using high performance thin liquid Chromatography (HPTLC).
Results: After detection, level of pesticides in sample was compared with Maximum residue levels (MRLs). The magnitude of pesticides in samples was lesser to the Maximum residue levels (MRLs) provided by United State Drug Agency (USDA), though the quantity of Lambda Cyhalothrin present in the sample was almost equal to MRL (0.097 mg/kg).
Conclusion: HPTLC is an efficient approach to detect pesticide traces in fruits and vegetables. Research work should be focused on it, to identify and control farmer practices which are highly linked to pesticide contamination in tomatoes and use of biopesticides should be encouraged. The cultivation of transgenic tomatoes can also be an efficient approach to elude the utilization of toxic pesticides