Keywords: ethion residues, food spice, insecticides, Kuwait, organophosphorus, public health, red chilli, ethion pesticides, hot chilli peppers, ethion contamination
Contamination of the organophosphorus insecticide ethion residues in commercial samples of red-hot chilli spice in Kuwait
This study aims to determine the contamination residue levels of ethion in different forms of red-hot chilli samples using gas chromatography analysis with tandem mass spectrometry detection mode. The results of this study clearly demonstrated that the percentage of ethion residue levels decreased remarkably from 81 to 19% of 156 and 384 red chilli samples analysed during 2004 and 2005, respectively. Further results also showed that only 15% of 225 samples analysed in 2006 were found to be contaminated with the residues of ethion pesticide, whereas the decrease in residual ethion contamination percentage level was slightly varied to 16% of 450 samples surveyed in 2007. Mean concentrations of ethion residues were in the range of less than 2 µg kg1 in all tested hot chilli pepper varieties. These results highlighted the necessity to routinely monitor this particular food spice commodity for ethion contamination in order to avoid the exposure to these harmful residues and, moreover, confirmed the importance of such pesticide monitoring programme to reduce the incidence of illegal residues in red chilli peppers.