Health: pesticide residues discovered in red chilli

Health: pesticide residues discovered in red chilli

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No health impairment due to carbofuran in red chilli

Scientific studies have shown how healthy the regular consumption of chillies can be. The hot pods are said to contribute to a longer life. However, some time ago residues of a plant protection product were discovered in chillies, which is why a more detailed investigation was carried out. Experts are now reporting that health impairment is unlikely for consumers.

Health advantages and disadvantages of spicy food

Experts do not agree whether spicy food is better for health or more harmful. Some people get health problems such as stomach problems, heartburn, abdominal pain or diarrhea after eating spicy foods. On the other hand, scientific studies have also shown that hot chillies can lower high blood pressure and increase the relative life expectancy due to certain ingredients such as capsaicin. But what if there are pesticide residues in the pods? Is there a health risk then?

Residues of carbofuran found

As reported by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), a state laboratory found residues of carbofuran in the investigation of frozen "red chilli without stem" for pesticides.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) then asked the BfR to assess the health of the analysis.

The result: “According to the current scientific status, a health risk to the health of consumers is unlikely,” writes the BfR.

Other crop protection products discovered

Carbofuran is said to be a crop protection product that can be used against certain insects, mites, ticks, and roundworms.

According to the experts, the acute reference dose (ARfD) for children and adults is not expected to be exceeded due to the amount of carbofuran residues and the estimated consumption of red chilli.

The ARfD describes the amount of the substance per kilogram of body weight that consumers can ingest with food during a meal or with several meals over a day without a recognizable health risk.

The ARfD thus represents a limit for risk assessment with regard to short-term admission.

Other pesticides were detected in the manufacturer's ten samples (2308 grams in total).

However, their contribution to carbofuran is insignificant, so that no health risk is to be expected from them either. Because the number of samples is small, the results cannot be generalized for red chilli.

No risk with normal consumption

According to the information, residues of 0.061 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of carbofuran were found in frozen red chilli without a stem.

"According to the current state of scientific knowledge, a health risk of children or adults from carbofuran residues in red chilli in the amount of 0.061 mg per kg is unlikely," said the BfR.

Children would have to consume a maximum of four chilies in a day to reach ARfD for carbofuran. Typical recipes for chili-containing dishes such as Chili Con Carne usually use a maximum of one chili per serving.

It is therefore unlikely that children will reach the maximum tolerable portion size and the ARfD for carbofuran will be exceeded.

For adults, the calculated maximum tolerable portion size is 187 g per day. For them, too, the ARfD of carbofuran was not expected to be exceeded. (ad)

Author and source information

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