Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 317–327 | Cite as

Pesticides contamination in Egyptian honey samples

  • Osama I. Abdallah
  • Ahmad Hanafi
  • Sherif B. Abdel Ghani
  • Silvia Ghisoni
  • Luigi Lucini
Research article


Honey is a natural food and widely used for its nutritional and therapeutic properties. The occurrence of pesticides in honeybees causes a potential risk for consumers. In the current study, LC–MS/MS and GC/MS methods were optimized for analysis of 46 multiclass pesticides residues in honey samples. The effect of different extraction solvents and dispersive solid phase extraction (DSPE) purification on the analytical methods performance were investigated. Acetonitrile performed better than ethyl acetate in terms of method efficiency and decreasing of matrix effects, while DSPE was effective in reducing matrix effect. The analytical methods were validated according to European Commission guidelines, in terms of accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility, linearity, LOD and LOQ. The methods were applied to 52 honey samples collected from northern and southern governorates of Egypt. Detectable levels of penconazole, difenoconazole, metalaxyl and carbofuran residues were found, in the range of 3–30 µg/kg, in 14 % of the samples. These results indicate that the tested honey samples are safe for human consumption, taking into account the effect of environmental conditions of the honey’s production region on the pesticides contamination levels.


Pesticide residues Mass Spectrometry Honey Monitoring 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors state that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

3_2017_1133_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osama I. Abdallah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmad Hanafi
    • 3
  • Sherif B. Abdel Ghani
    • 3
    • 4
  • Silvia Ghisoni
    • 5
  • Luigi Lucini
    • 5
  1. 1.Food Safety LaboratoryAl-Qassim MunicipalityBuraydahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Pesticides Residues and Environmental Pollution, Central Agricultural Pesticide LaboratoryAgricultural Research CenterGizaEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of AgricultureAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Plant Production and Protection Department, College of Agriculture and Veterinary MedicineQassim UniversityBuraydahSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Institute of Environmental and Agricultural ChemistryUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly

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