The effect of boiling on the removal of persistent malathion residues from stored grains
Lalah, Joseph O
Wandiga, Shem O
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This study aimed at finding the fate of malathion in maize grains and beans stored in a tropical laboratory for 12 months at temperatures of 20–24°C, relative humidity of 42–80% and grain moisture contents of 11.7–12.5% in maize grains and 14.1–15.3% in beans. Malathion and its degradation products malaoxon, malathion α-monocarboxylic acid and β-monocarboxylic acid were found in stored maize grains and beans treated with a mixture of pure radiolabelled malathion and 2% malathion dust after 12 months of storage. A significant percentage of these residues were removed from the grains by cooking in boiling water. Though malathion and its polar metabolites, malathion α- and malathion β-monocarboxylic acids were completely eliminated by boiling, malaoxon was still detected in quite high quantities in the solvent extracts of cooked beans and maize. Addition of NaCl to the grains increased the rate of removal of the residues from both maize grains and beans by boiling water. The data obtained clearly showed a distinction in persistence, distribution and metabolism of malathion between the two types of crop, indicating also that more adverse windy, humid and hot tropical conditions contributed to higher rates of metabolism and loss of the pesticide from the grains. The accuracy and ease of using radiolabelled malathion in investigating its fate and behaviour in the two matrices is shown in this study.