Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Use of pesticide has become part of modern day agricultural practice. Some pesticides can remain in the environment for decades and contaminate surface water that is used for irrigation of produce. Two studies were conducted- first to examine possible pesticide residue in surface water and some fruits, vegetables and cereals in Louisiana; and second was to alleviate possible pesticide residues in the water using zeolite filtration. Samples of 8 foods (tomato, corn, rice, blueberry, cucumber, cabbage, wheat and melon) and 35 surface waters were studied using a QuEChERS extraction method for food samples and an EPA method for the water samples. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyze water and food samples. Alleviation of pesticide residues was attempted for 10 water samples using a natural zeolite filtration. One water sample was filtered through a surfactant (HDTMA-Cl)-modified-zeolite. Eighteen pesticides were detected in the surface water samples and 5 in the food samples. Pesticides detected were below FDA limit but 0.18 ppm cypermethrin found in tomato was 90 % close to the FDA limit (0.2 ppm). Alleviation was achieved in 9 water samples out of 10 samples that were filtered through zeolite. The highest removal of pesticides from water with zeolite was 100 % in bifenthrin in CLC sample, followed by 99.1 % in atrazine in the same sample. Minimum reduction of 10.9 % was in metolachlor in sample BRH. Further reduction of pesticide residues up to 50 % was recorded in the SMZ treatment as the concentrations of 4 out of 8 pesticide residues were reduced. This study suggests the need to intermittently monitor pesticide contamination in our food and water.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Janes, Marlene

Included in

Life Sciences Commons