Editor’s Note: This story was originally published by USA TODAY in 2017.
Do you rinse fruits like apples under running water in the sink, or do you take a paper towel or towel to wipe them dry? Either way, you’re doing it wrong.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts say they’ve discovered a better way to remove pesticides from apples: using baking soda.
The results were reported in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
To determine this, the researchers used two types of pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole and the insecticide phosmet. To conduct the study, they washed the apples using three methods: tap water, a solution of baking soda and water, and a commercial bleach solution approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The results showed that the baking soda solution was the best option. After 12 minutes, 80% of the thiabendazole was removed, while 96% of the phosmet was removed after 15 minutes. Thiabendazole was more difficult to remove because it was able to penetrate deeper into the skin of the apple, according to the study.
So a common pantry ingredient for the win!
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Researchers have noted that peeling apples can also be effective in removing all pesticides, but you will lose key nutrients on the skin.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.
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