Washing the peels of fruits and vegetables well with baking soda, bleach or bleach, in addition to removing dirt, some pesticides and pesticides, present in the peel of the food, also allows removing viruses and bacteria responsible for diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, salmonellosis and even coronavirus, for example.
Before washing fruits and vegetables, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly and remove the injured parts. After that, the following steps must be followed:
- Wash the vegetables with a brush, warm water and soap, to remove the dirt visible to the naked eye;
- Leave the fruits and vegetables with peel to soakin a bowl with 1 liter of water and 1 spoon of baking soda or bleach, for about 15 minutes;
- Wash fruits and vegetables in drinking waterto remove excess bicarbonate, bleach or the product used in disinfection.
In addition, it is important to be careful not to mix clean foods with those that are dirty or raw, as there may be contamination again.
The foods that are cooked can only be washed under running water to remove the dirt, since the heat is able to eliminate the microorganisms present in these foods.
It is important to remember that whenever using commercial chemicals suitable for washing vegetables, the instructions on the packaging must be read to respect the quantity to be used, avoiding the accumulation of the substance in the body. In this case, the ideal is to follow the packaging guidelines.
The use of products such as bleach, chlorine or stain remover is totally discouraged as they can be harmful to health, if they are not completely removed from food before consuming.
Other alternatives for washing vegetables
Other healthy and effective alternatives to eliminate microorganisms and pesticides from vegetables are the use of hydrogen peroxide or organic acids, such as citric, lactic or ascorbic acid. However, in both cases you need to be careful. In the case of hydrogen peroxide it is important to use percentages below 5%, as they can cause irritation of the skin or eyes. In the case of organic acids, it is always best to use a mixture of 2 or more acids.
To use these alternatives, you must dilute 1 tablespoon of the product for every 1 liter of water, leaving the vegetables to soak for 15 minutes. After that time, the vegetables should be washed under running water to remove the excess product and store the food in the refrigerator.
It is important to remember that consuming raw foods that are not properly washed can be dangerous to health due to the amount of harmful microorganisms and pesticides present in the peel of vegetables, which can cause problems such as belly pain, diarrhea, fever and malaise. See the 3 diseases caused by contaminated food .
Can vinegar be used to disinfect?
White, balsamic, wine or apple cider vinegar can be used to disinfect vegetables and fruits, however it is not considered the best option. This is because some studies indicate that it is not as effective when compared to products that contain sodium hypochlorite to eliminate some microorganisms.
In addition, other studies indicate that for vinegar to work properly, it must be very concentrated, that is, large amounts of vinegar in the water are needed to eliminate harmful microorganisms and pesticides. In addition, vinegar can alter the taste of some vegetables.