BACKGROUND: It is very important to monitor the residual characteristics of pesticides in pre-harvest fresh ginseng to ensure consumer safety.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Forty-eight fresh ginseng samples were collected from 8 ginseng-growing fields 10 days before harvest and pesticide residues in fresh ginseng with and without rhizome (head of ginseng) and rhizome were analyzed for 320 pesticides by using GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. As a result of the pesticide residue analysis, the number of pesticides detected from the fresh ginseng with rhizome, that without rhizome and rhizome were 26, 25 and 40, respectively, indicating that high number of pesticides found in rhizome, compared with the other parts. Pyraclostrobin had the highest detection frequency in all samples, amounting to 21.2% in fresh ginseng with rhizome, 16.8% in that without rhizome and 14.8% in rhizome.
CONCLUSION: The residue levels of pesticides detected were not exceeded their maximum residue limits, in spite of residual data in fresh ginseng before harvest. The amounts of the estimated daily intakes of all pesticides detected found to be from 0.018 to 1.818% of their acceptable daily intakes, indicating that concentrations of pesticides detected from fresh ginseng with and without rhizome collected before harvest do not pose the immediate health risks.