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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Stability of the insecticide cypermethrin during tomato processing and implications for endocrine activity.

The thermal and pH stabilities of cypermethrin during food processing were investigated using tomato as a model food system and high-performance liquid chromatography as the analytical method. Cypermethrin was thermally unstable in aqueous conditions, where the hydrolysis of the pesticide was accelerated by heat. The mean proportion remaining after heating cypermethrin in water for 10 min was 66%, falling to 27% after 1 h. Similarly, thermal processing of canned tomatoes caused cypermethrin to degrade, with remaining levels in the final product ranging from 30 to 60% of the original. Cypermethrin was unstable at extreme pHs, with acid hydrolysis occurring faster than alkaline hydrolysis in phosphate buffers. The acidity of tomato paste (pH 4.3) caused cypermethrin levels to decrease by 30% within 12 days at 5 degrees C. The studies indicate that cypermethrin residues are likely to degrade by hydrolysis during food processing, thus reducing the exposure of consumers to cypermethrin. 3-Phenoxybenzaldehyde, a hydrolysis breakdown product of cypermethrin, was detected in the tomato paste and from the heating of cypermethrin in water at 100 degrees C. There is concern that the risk of breakdown products in terms of endocrine activity is unknown since in vitro studies reported that cypermethrin breakdown products display endocrine activity.[1]


  1. Stability of the insecticide cypermethrin during tomato processing and implications for endocrine activity. Lin, H.M., Gerrard, J.A., Shaw, I.C. Food additives and contaminants. (2005) [Pubmed]
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