If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame

If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame.

Certain pesticides may be to fault if you’ve ever eaten a juicy, red strawberry only to discover that it was watery and only somewhat flavorful.

In a recent study, researchers discovered that the fungicides boscalid (BOS) and difenoconazole (DIF), which are frequently used on strawberries, can disrupt the fruit’s cellular systems, dull its sweetness and flavor overall, and reduce the berry’s nutritional value.

The research was presented in the article Insights into the Mechanism of Taste Loss in Strawberries Caused by Two Fungicides Combining Transcriptome and Metabolome Analyses, which was printed in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame

Every year, a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest concentrations of pesticides after washing is released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit activist organization that focuses on research and advocacy in areas like toxic chemicals and agricultural subsidies. This list is known as the Dirty Dozen.

Strawberries and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and mustard greens topped the list both last year and in previous years. EWG gets the vegetables ready for testing the way a consumer would.

According to Sydney Swanson, an EWG scientific analyst, customers should buy organic versions of Dirty Dozen vegetables whenever possible. Produce cultivated organically cannot lawfully be treated with the majority of pesticides.

According to the press release, pesticide residue has been identified in nearly 70% of US produce that is not produced organically. Although levels were often within legal bounds, this does not mean that the product is safe. More than one-fourth of the pesticides used in this country contain compounds that are prohibited in Europe due to health hazards, according to one study.

If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame

The EWG press statement stated that although pesticides are used to kill insects and fungi, many of them are hazardous and have been related to health issues in people, including cancer and toxicity in the nerve and brain systems.

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According to an ACS press release, volatile substances like terpenes and esters are responsible for a strawberry’s characteristic aroma and the sweetness you enjoy when biting into a plump, juicy strawberry.

Although fungicides are made to disrupt the cellular functions of fungi, when they are applied to berries, they may also affect the functions of the berries themselves, which may have an impact on the nutritional components and flavor of the fruit.

The ACS study looked at how several strawberry molecular pathways were impacted by BOS and DIF.

Three different varieties of strawberries were grown by the team under identical conditions, and two of the groups received BOS and DIF treatments. The berries in all three groups had the same color and size when fully matured. Yet, the scientists discovered that both groups treated with the fungicides had undergone chemical alterations.

If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame

The study’s team discovered that the amount of vitamin C, sucrose, and other nutrients and soluble sugars had decreased; that the fruit’s sugars had been converted into acids, which had an impact on how sweet they were; and that the number of their volatile compounds had changed, which had a muted impact on their aroma and flavor.

The scientists also discovered that BOS has a direct impact on the cellular pathway gene regulation involved in the creation of minerals, amino acids, and carbohydrates.

The fact that participants consistently favored the pesticide-free strawberries in a blind taste test may have been the most telling.

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According to the researchers, farmers may receive advice from their study for future pesticide use. No matter how they were cultivated, everyone should consume lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, according to EWG toxicologist Dr. Alexis Temkin.

If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame

Yet, consumers have a right to be aware of the potentially harmful ingredients present in these items so they may choose what is best for their family while taking into account their budget and other factors.

The article first appeared on EcoWatch under the title “If Your Strawberries Taste Bland, Pesticides May Be to Blame.”

Vishal Rana

Vishal is working as a Content Editor at Enviro360. He covers a wide range of topics, including media, energy, weather, industry news, daily news, climate, etc. Apart from this, Vishal is a sports enthusiast and loves to play cricket. Also, he is an avid moviegoer and spends his free time watching Web series and Hollywood Movies.

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