Organochlorine pesticides in vegetable oils: An overview of occurrence, toxicity, and chromatographic determination in the past twenty-two years (2000–2022)

Basil K. Munjanja, Philiswa N. Nomngongo, Nomvano Mketo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are used globally to control pests in the food industry. However, some have been banned due to their toxicity. Although they have been banned, OCPs are still discharged into the environment and persist for long periods of time. Therefore, this review focused on the occurrence, toxicity, and chromatographic determination of OCPs in vegetable oils over the last 22 years (2000–2022) (111 references). Literature search shows that OCPs kill pests by destroying endocrine, teratogenic, neuroendocrine, immune, and reproductive systems. However, only five studies investigated the fate of OCPs in vegetable oils and the outcome revealed that some of the steps involved during oil processing introduce more OCPs. Moreover, direct chromatographic determination of OCPs was mostly performed using online LC-GC methods fitted with oven transfer adsorption desorption interface. While indirect chromatographic determination was favored by QuEChERS extraction technique, gas chromatography frequently coupled to electron capture detection (ECD), gas chromatography in selective ion monitoring mode (SIM), and gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) were the most common techniques used for detection. However, the greatest challenge still faced by analytical chemists is to obtain clean extracts with acceptable extraction recoveries (70–120%). Hence, more research is still required to develop greener and selective extraction methods toward OCPs, thus improving extraction recoveries. Moreover, advanced techniques like gas chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS) must also be explored. OCPs prevalence in vegetable oils varied greatly in various countries, and concentrations of up to 1500 µg/kg were reported. Additionally, the percentage of positive samples ranged from 1.1 to 97.5% for endosulfan sulfate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • chromatographic techniques
  • direct determination
  • matrix effect
  • sample preparation
  • vegetable oils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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