Evaluation of Residual Pesticides and Heavy Metals Levels in Conventionally and Organically Farmed Potato Tubers in Egypt

  • Sameeh A. Mansour


Egypt is one of the top 10 potato exporting countries in the world. The increasing demand of food safety has stimulated research regarding the risk associated with consumption of foods contaminated by pesticides and heavy metals. Egypt, like many other countries, is moving towards production of organic crops along with traditional ones. This chapter examines and discusses contamination levels of pesticides and heavy metals in potato tubers in Egypt. As there is a widespread belief that organic agriculture products are safer and healthier than conventional foods, this chapter comparatively analyzes the data of pesticides and heavy metals in conventionally and organically farmed potato tubers produced by the chapter author and his colleagues. Information in this chapter shows it is difficult to come to conclusions, but what should be made clear to the consumer is that “organic” does not automatically equal “safe”. More research efforts are needed to evaluate and assure sustainable production of high quality and safe potato from both conventional and organic farming practices.


Heavy Metal Potato Tuber Pesticide Residue Organochlorine Pesticide Total Heavy Metal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abbassy MS (2001) Pesticide residues in selected vegetables and fruits in Alexandria city, Egypt, 1997–1998. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 67:225–232PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdrabbo MAA, Khalil AA, Hassanien MKK, Abou-Hadid AF (2010) Sensitivity of potato yield to climate change. J Appl Sci Res 6(6):751–755Google Scholar
  3. Abou-Arab AAK, Soliman KM, Naguib Kh (1998) Pesticide residue contents in Egyptian vegetables and fruits and removal by washing. Bull Nutr Inst Cairo Egypt 18(1):117–138Google Scholar
  4. Bhanti M, Taneja A (2005) Monitoring of organochlorine pesticide residues in summer and winter vegetables from Agra, India – a case study. Environ Monit Assess 110:341–346PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhanti M, Taneja A (2007) Contamination of vegetables of different seasons with organophosphorous pesticides and related health assessment in northern India. Chemosphere 69:63–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caldas ED, Boon PE, Tressou J (2006) Probabilistic assessment of the cumulative acute exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides in the Brazilian diet. Toxicology 222:132–142 Caldas ED, Boon PE, Tressou J (2006) Probabilistic assessment of the cumulative acute exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides in the Brazilian diet. Toxicology 222:132–142Google Scholar
  7. Codex (2006) Codex Alimentarius Commission, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Pesticide Residues in Food. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  8. D’Mello JPF (2003) Food safety: contaminants and toxins. CABI Publishing, Wallingford/CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dach J, Starmans D (2005) Heavy metals balance in Polish and Dutch agronomy: actual state and previsions for the future review. Agric Ecosyst Environ 107(1):309–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dogheim SM, El-Zarka M, Gad Alla SA, El-Saied S, Salama EY, Ayoub MM, Fahmy SM (1996a) Monitoring of pesticide residues in human milk, soil, water and food samples collected from Kafr El-Zayat governorate. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 79:111–116Google Scholar
  11. Dogheim SM, Gad Alla SA, El-Syes SAM, Almaz MM, Salama EY (1996b) Organochlorine and Organophosphorus pesticide residues in food from Egyptian local markets. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 79:949–952Google Scholar
  12. Dogheim SM, Gad Alla SA, El-Marsafy AM (1999) Monitoring of pesticide residues in Egyptian fruits and vegetables in 1995. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 82:955–984Google Scholar
  13. Dogheim SM, Gad Alla SA, El-Marsafy AM (2001) Monitoring of pesticide residues in Egyptian fruits and vegetables in 1996. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 84(2):519–531Google Scholar
  14. Dogheim SM, El-Marsafy AM, Salama EY, Gad Alla SA, Nabil YM (2002) Monitoring of pesticide residues in Egyptian fruits and vegetables during 1997. Food Addit Contam 19(11):1015–1027PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dogheim SM, Ashraf EMM, Gad Alla SA, Khorshid MA, Fahmy SM (2004) Pesticides and heavy metals levels in Egyptian leafy vegetables and some aromatic medicinal plants. Food Addit Contam 21(4):323–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fries GF (1995) A review of the significance of animal food products as potential pathways of human exposures to dioxins. J Anim Sci 73(6):1639–1650PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gonzalez M, Miglioranza KSB, Aizpún de Moreno JE, Moreno VJ (2003) Occurrence and distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) crops from organic production. J Agric Food Chem 51(5):1353–1359PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gonzalez M, Miglioranza KSB, Aizpún de Moreno JE, Moreno VJ (2005) Evaluation of conventionally and organically produced vegetables for high lipophilic organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues. Food Chem Toxicol 43:261–269PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harner T, Pozo K, Gouin T, Macdonald A-M, Hung H, Cainey J, Peters A (2006) Global pilot study for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) using PUF disk passive air samplers. Environ Pollut 144:445–452PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mansour SA (2004) Pesticide exposure – Egyptian scene. Toxicology 198:91–115PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mansour SA (2009) Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Africa: Egyptian scenario. Hum Exp Toxicol 28(9):531–566PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mansour SA, Gad MF (2010) Risk assessment of pesticides and heavy metals contaminants in vegetables: a novel bioassay method using Daphnia magna Straus. Food Chem Toxicol 48:377–389PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mansour SA, Belal MH, Abou-Arab AK, Ashour HM, Gad MF (2009a) Evaluation of some pollutant levels in conventionally and organically farmed potato tubers and their risks to human health. Food Chem Toxicol 47:615–624PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mansour SA, Belal MH, Abou-Arab AK, Gad MF (2009b) Monitoring of pesticides and heavy metals in cucumber fruits produced from different farming systems. Chemosphere 75:601–609PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Medany M (2006) Assessment of the impact of climate change and adaptation on potato production. Central Lab for Agricultural Climate, Agricultural Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture & Land Reclamation, Egypt. Final report, 15ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Peris M, Micό C, Recatalá L, Sánchez R, Sánchez J (2007) Heavy metal contents in horticultural crops of a representative area of the European Mediterranean region. Sci Total Environ 378:42–48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Radwan MA, Salama AK (2006) Market basket survey for some heavy metals in Egyptian fruits and vegetables. Food Chem Toxicol 44:1273–1278PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Salim A (2006) Evaluation of heavy metal contents and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) residues in Egyptian organically-farmed vegetables. J Agric Sci Mansoura Univ 31(3):1601–1612Google Scholar
  29. Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall FM (2008) Heavy metal (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) contamination of vegetables in urban India: a case study in Varanasi. Environ Pollut 154:254–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Soliman KM (1999) Changes in concentration of some pesticide residues in potatoes during washing and cooking. J Agric Sci Mansoura Univ 24(5):2503–2511Google Scholar
  31. Soliman KH, Abou-Arab AAK, Badawy A, Naguib KH (1997) Heavy metal contamination levels in Egyptian vegetables, fruits and elimination by washing procedure. Bull Nutr Inst Cairo Egypt 17(2):120–146Google Scholar
  32. Trewavas A (2004) A critical assessment of organic farming and food assertions with particular respect to the UK and the potential environmental benefits of no-till agriculture. Crop Prot 23:757–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Trichopoulos D (1997) Epidemiology of cancer. In: DeVita VT (ed) Cancer: principles and practice of oncology. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, pp 231–257Google Scholar
  34. Tricker AR, Preussmann R (1990) Chemical food contaminants in the initiation of cancer. Proc Nutr Soc 49:133–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Turkdogan MK, Kilicel F, Kara K, Tuncer I (2002) Heavy metals in soil, vegetables and fruits in the endemic upper gastrointestinal cancer region of Turkey. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 13:175–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Whole Foods Market (2005) Whole foods market organic trend tracker. Whole Foods Market, AustinGoogle Scholar
  37. Winter CK, Davis SF (2006) Quality and safety comparisons of organic and conventional foods. J Food Sci 71(9):117–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zaidi MI, Asrar A, Mansoor A, Farooqui MA (2005) The heavy metal concentrations along roadside trees of Quetta and its effects on public health. J Appl Sci 5(4):708–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zawiyah S, Che Man YB, Nazimah SAH, Chin CK, Tsukamoto I, Hamanyza AH, Norhaizan I (2007) Determination of organochlorine and pyrethroid pesticides in fruit and vegetables using SAX/PSA clean-up column. Food Chem 102:98–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zohair A, Salim A, Soyibo AA, Beck AJ (2006) Residues of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in organically-farmed vegetables. Chemosphere 63:541–553PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pesticide Chemistry DepartmentEnvironmental Toxicology Research Unit (ETRU), National Research CentreDokki, CairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations