Hazard Analysis of Metalaxyl Residues in Cocoa Beans

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AUGUST, 2017
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Metalaxyl is a widely used fungicide and one of the important pollutants in the environment, and will result in potential health threat to humans and environmental pollution, so its residues in food production have received more and more attention. Currently, very limited data on the distribution of residues of metalaxyl in agricultural products have been reported. The aim of the study was to determine the distribution of metalaxyl residues in cocoa beans from the cocoa growing regions of Ghana and compare to the current maximum residue limits (MRL) established by Codex, Japan and EU and the proposed EU MRL. Residues of metalaxyl were estimated in two hundred and four (204) samples of fermented, dried and merchantable cocoa beans by GCMS following extraction and clean-up. From the results of the study, 76.96% of the total samples analyzed had no detection of metalaxyl residues, however, 23.04% showed detection which 8.33% had metalaxyl residues lower than the proposed EU (0.02 mg/kg) MRL and 14.71% had metalaxyl residues above the proposed EU MRL. Metalaxyl residues recorded in the samples from the regions were all below the current Codex (0.2 mg/kg), Japan (0.2 mg/kg) and EU (0.1 mg/kg) MRL. However, residues of metalaxyl recorded in the samples from Western north and south, Ashanti and Central region were above the proposed EU (0.02 mg/kg) MRL. The highest mean metalaxyl residue level detected in the samples analyzed was seen in Western south (0.029 mg/kg) followed by Ashanti (0.025 mg/kg), Central (0.024 mg/kg), Western north (0.023 mg/kg), Brong Ahafo (0.019 mg/kg) and Eastern (0.016 mg/kg) region. No significant variation (p>0.05) was found between the mean metalaxyl residues recorded in the samples from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central and Eastern region even though there were differences in the metalaxyl residue concentrations. However, signifiant variation (p<0.05) was found between the mean metalaxyl residues recorded in the samples from Western south, Western north and Eastern regions.  
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management.