This is the best way, according to science



Editor’s note: This story was originally published by USA TODAY in 2017.

Do you rinse fruit like apples under water in the sink, or grab a paper towel or napkin to wipe them down? Either way, you’re doing it wrong.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts say they have discovered a better method for getting pesticides off apples: Using baking soda.

The findings were reported in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

To determine this, researchers used two types of pesticides, the fungicide thiabendazole, and the insecticide phosmet. To conduct the study, they washed the apples using three methods: Tap water, a solution of baking soda and water, and a commercial bleach solution approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Results found the baking soda solution was the best option. After 12 minutes, 80% of thiabendazole was removed, while 96% of the phosmet was removed after 15 minutes. The thiabendazole was more difficult to remove because it was able to penetrate more deeply into the apple’s skin, the study found.

So, a common pantry ingredient for the win!

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Researchers noted peeling the apples can also prove effective in removing any pesticides, but you will lose key nutrients found on the skin.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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