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Monitoring of some pesticides residue in consumed tea in Tehran market

Maryam Amirahmadi12, Shahram Shoeibi12, Mehdi Abdollahi3, Hossein Rastegar12*, Roya Khosrokhavar12 and Morteza Pirali Hamedani14

Author Affiliations

1 Food and Drug Laboratory Research Center, Food and Drug Organization, MOH & ME, Tehran, Iran

2 Food and Drug Reference Control Laboratories Center, Food and Drug Organization, MOH & ME, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2013, 10:9  doi:10.1186/1735-2746-10-9

Published: 12 January 2013


Tea is an agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of various cultivars and sub-varieties of the Camellia sinensis plant, processed and vulcanized using various methods. Tea is a main beverage in Iranian food basket so should be free from toxic elements such as pesticides residue. There is no data bank on the residue of pesticides in the consumed black tea in Iran. The present study is the first attempt for monitoring of 25 pesticide residues from different chemical groups in tea samples obtained from local markets in Tehran, I.R. Iran during the period 2011. A reliable and accurate method based on spiked calibration curve and QuEChERS sample preparation was developed for determination of pesticide residues in tea by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The using of spiked calibration standards for constructing the calibration curve substantially reduced adverse matrix-related effects and negative recovery affected by GCB on pesticides. The recovery of pesticides at 3 concentration levels (n = 3) was in range of 81.4 - 99.4%. The method was proved to be repeatable with RSDr lower than 20%. The limits of quantification for all pesticides were ≤20 ng/g. 53 samples from 17 imported and manufactured brand were analyzed. Detectable pesticides residues were found in 28.3% (15 samples) of the samples. All of the positive samples were contaminated with unregulated pesticides (Endosulfan Sulfate or Bifenthrin) which are established by ISIRI. None of the samples had contamination higher than maximum residue limit set by EU and India.

Pesticides residue; Tea; GC/MS; Spiked calibration curve