|Title:||Occurrence and removal of chemical and microbiological contaminants on salad vegetable crops from farmers’ fields and market sites in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur|
|Researchers:||ADSolsoloy, S.R. Igarta and J.A. Baligat|
The socio-demographic profile and other salient information related to farming were fully documented from various farmer-respondents involved with salad vegetable crops, namely, green garlic, cabbage and tomato fromIlocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Majority of farmers were involved with inorganic farming, and/or combination with organic farming with the latter as the least preferred. Notable information was the prevalent use of chemical pesticides and other inputs without considering adverse effects to public health and environment.
Majority of sampled vegetables from Laoag City and Batac City Public markets had an unacceptable level of organophosphate and carbamate contaminations based on the RBPR methodology of analyzing pesticide residues. Those sprayed with thiophosphates passed the level for food safety. Green garlic had the highestlevel of microbial contaminants, determined through indicator such as Aerobic Plate Count, total coliforms, E. coli, and Salmonella sp., followed by cabbage and lastly by tomato from samples taken from the farmer’s fields. On the other hand, samples taken from markets sites showed green garlic, tomato and cabbage, in decreasing order of microbial contamination.
Washing the vegetable samples with chlorinated water at 5ppm Calcium hypochlorite effectively reduced microbial populations. The use of liquid detergent did not help in reducing microbial populations, however, its use was not commendable as it enhanced microbial infiltration due to decrease in surface tension.
Seemingly, the type of market structure determined the degree of microbial contamination. Lowest microbial contamination was noted in Batac City Public market which is relatively the newest in comparison to Laoag City and Sinait/Vigan City public markets.
The study should be further carried out in two other provinces of Region 1, namely, La Union and Pangasinan to produce a comprehensive agriculture profile of Region 1 as well as the extent of chemical and microbial contaminations of various fresh fruits and vegetables.