September 15, 2022 – Many brands of fruit leather, a popular children’s leather snack, with detectable levels of pesticides, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that aims to improve human health and the environment. Many dried fruit snacks also contain detectable levels of pesticides.
It released the results in a report today, “Fruit Leather: A snack sometimes stuffed with pesticides and sugar.”
Bottom line for the Environmental Working Group: “Fresh fruit is always better,” said Sydney Evans, the group’s scientific analyst and report co-author. To minimize pesticide exposure, dried fruit snacks are better than fruit leather, and organic over non-organic or conventional products, she said.
But others slammed the report. “This fear-mongering needs to stop,” said Teresa Thorne, executive director of the Food and Agriculture Alliance, a nonprofit that represents organic and conventional farmers. fruits and vegetables. She said the levels found were well below the set acceptance criteria.
Environmental Working Group asked independent labs to test 37 samples of organic and non-organic fruit leather from 10 brands, as well as 30 samples of dried fruit, another popular carry-on snack, from 16 brands. (Fruit leather is made by dehydrating fruit puree into shiny flakes with a leather-like texture.)
None of the samples tested exceeded the pesticide tolerance level set by the federal government, Evans said. But the group believes those tolerances are too high.
Detectable levels of pesticides were found in all 26 non-organic (traditional) fruit leather samples and half of the non-organic samples of dried fruit, according to the Environmental Working Group, funded by sources including organic food company.
But some of the organic products evaluated also had similar or higher levels of pesticides than conventional products. For example, Trader Joe’s Organic Apple Strawberry Fruit Wrap has a pesticide concentration of 247 parts per billion (ppb), while the traditional Bob Snail Apple-Strawberry Stripe has a pesticide concentration of 106 ppb.
A Stretch Island raspberry peel sample contained 17 pesticides, the most of any leather tested. When the researchers looked at total pesticides (also known as total pesticide concentrations), samples from That’s It, Stretch Island and Trader Joe’s had the highest average total concentrations.
The most common insecticides are the fungicides pyrimethamine, fipronil and Thiabendazole, and the insecticide acetamiprid.Exposure to pesticides is linked to cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive and nervous system effects and birth defects.
“For me, takeout is [that] Fresh fruit is always better when it comes to choosing between fruit leather and dried fruit, Evans said. If that’s not an option, she recommends opting for dried fruit snacks instead of fruit leather.Environmental Working Group Evaluation of 30 Traditional Dried Fruit Products cranberrydates, figs, mangoes and plums had undetectable levels of pesticides, while raisins and dried strawberries, cherries and apples had the highest levels.
Fruit bars with the highest levels of pesticides often have apples as the first ingredient, Evans said.apple is Number 5 2022 “Dirty” list, annual ranking fruits and vegetables The group produces the most pesticides.
The process of dehydrating the fruit to make the peel also “greatly increases the concentration of natural substances” sugar Snacks contain,” the group said, leading to more sugar than a similarly sized serving of fresh fruit.It also recommends avoiding the use of added sugars and additives such as flavour enhancers, food colouring and corn syrup.
other point of view
“They didn’t find anything surprising,” said Katchbull, associate professor and director of the Pesticide Safety Education Program at OSU Corvallis, who reviewed the report for WebMD.
The findings also don’t support the recommendation to avoid fruit leather altogether, she said.
“As long as fruit leather is consumed in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet, parents should not have to worry,” Bull said. (She points out that organic produce is also grown using pesticides.)
Others pointed to what they believed to be differences in the calculations. For example, a 35 g (1.2 oz) That’s It Blueberry Fruit Bar has a total pesticide concentration of 3,541 ppb, while its Mini Blueberry Fruit Bar has a pesticide concentration of 20 g (0.7 oz) with the same ingredients and a total pesticide concentration of 89.
Fruit peels and dried fruit snacks are especially handy when those who live far from food markets run out of fresh fruit, Buhl said.
“We need to stop scaring people away from the foods they love, especially when they’re healthy foods like fruits and vegetables,” Thorne said.
in the league consumer information site, Its pesticide calculator estimates what a child can eat 340 servings per day Apples have no adverse effects from pesticides, “even though apples have the highest pesticide residue levels ever recorded by the USDA.”
WebMD contacted the company for comment. Stretch Island did not respond, which is why it declined to comment on the findings.