Does fruit peel prevent pesticides from entering?

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Janet Flair

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Janet Flair asked the Naked Scientists:

I wanted to ask Dr Chris, do pesticides soak through banana peels into the
fruit? What fruits are okay to buy non-organic? I recently watched a short clip on www.current.com called toxic bananas and was worried, however my friend has a degree in food chemistry and said that banana peels were made to keep out toxins.

Please let me know!!!

Thank you.

What do you think?

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Offline Don_1

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Does fruit peel prevent pesticides from entering?
« Reply #1 on: 23/10/2008 12:31:53 »
Some pesticides and fungicides will penetrate peel and skin of some fruit and vegetable to some extent.

Some years ago it was found that a pesticide used on apples was found to be present in the flesh of the fruit to the tune of 4 to 8 parts per million.

However, the mathematics of this 'apple scare' showed that you would need to consume 50 apples per day from birth for your entire life for this cancer causing pesticide to put you at risk.

It was also revealed that this pesticide occurs naturally in mushrooms at 800 parts per million.

But there are some pesticides and fungicides which should not be used on food crops. While skins may give some protection to the edible flesh, they can get into the flesh by other means. e.g. spray falling on the ground can be absorbed through the root.
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