Fate of Chlorpropham during High-Temperature Processing of Potatoes

Bernd Göckener, Matthias Kotthoff, Hans Willi Kling, Mark Bücking

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Chlorpropham is a widely used sprouting inhibitor applied on potatoes during their storage. Currently, severe concerns are raised regarding the potential formation of 3-chloroaniline from chlorpropham during heat treatment. The reactions degrading the molecule in the matrix are quite complex under harsh processing conditions, and a molecular investigation is thus challenging. This study aims to decipher the reaction pathways and to discover new metabolites in typical high-temperature food-processing steps. For this purpose, potatoes were treated with 14C-radiolabeled chlorpropham, stored for up to 6 months, and subjected to the traditional preparation steps of boiling, frying, and baking. A quantification method including an acidic hydrolysis was developed for analysis of free and bound analytes. All conducted processing steps led to a substantial mitigation of chlorpropham residues in the consumable products. Of the residues, 17 ± 6% remained in boiled tubers, while 27 ± 3 and 22 ± 3% remained in the fried and baked products, respectively. Chlorpropham was transferred into the surrounding media (boiling water, frying oil, and air, respectively). 3-Chloroaniline was only (raw tubers) or predominantly (processed tubers) present as a bound analyte and was shown to form during storage but not during processing. Additionally, nonextractable and nonquantified residues were detected in the baked and in the long-term-stored tubers after processing. Future studies will have to balance beneficial (mitigating) and potentially hazardous aspects of these results. By transferring the 14C-food-processing approach to a variety of substances, ingredients, and processes, it will be possible to further understand chemical reactions in food processing, finally leading to safer food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2578-2587
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020


  • C-food processing
  • chlorpropham
  • fate of pesticides
  • potatoes
  • radioactive tracing

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