Levels of Selected Pesticide Residues in Cocoa Beans From Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions of Ghana

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The monitoring of pesticide residues in food has become a priority objective worldwide in order to get an extensive evaluation of food quality and to avoid harm to human health. This study presents results of analysis conducted on twenty one pesticide residues in cocoa beans sampled from the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions of Ghana. The pesticides were extracted from cocoa beans using liquid liquid extraction followed by clean up with solid-phase extraction cartridges. Final extracts were dissolved in ethyl acetate and analysis carried out by Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detector. Pesticides were identified by their retention times and quantification using an external calibration method. Twenty pesticide residues were detected in the cocoa bean samples. Aldrin was below detection limit in the cocoa beans sampled from the two regions. Chloropyrifos exhibited the highest concentrations of 10.55 mg/kg for samples from Mim in the Brong Ahafo region and 9.81 mg/kg for samples from Offinso in the Ashanti region. The lowest pesticide concentration of 0.01 mg/kg was recorded for Endosulfan I for samples from Sankore in the Ashanti region and Delta HCH which had a value of 0.01 mg/kg for samples from Offinso, Apagya, Juaso and New Edubiase respectively. From the results it could be deduced that 50% of the pesticides residues detected in the Brong Ahafo region were above the EU allowable limit whereas 45% was recorded for Ashanti region.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science degree