Alaa Eldin M. A. Morshdy, Wageh S. Darwish, Jehan R.M. Daoud, Mohamed A.M. Hussein, Maher A.M. Sebak


Tilapia nilotica (Oreochomis niloticus) is the major fish species consumed in Egypt, particularly due to its high nutritive value, palatability and relatively low price compared with other kinds of fishes or red meat. In Egypt, tilapia fish is caught directly from river Nile or cultured in a specified aquaculture. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have been extensively used in Egypt and many African countries in the past century for the control of the agricultural pests. A major character of OCPs is their persistent bio-accumulation in the environment, especially in the food chain, where they can get reach to humans. There is few reports had investigated the current scenario of OCPs contamination in fish in Egypt, particularly in Upper Egypt cities such as Sohag. Additionally, fish is consumed cooked in Egypt not raw like many Asian countries. Therefore, this study aimed at monitoring the residue levels of different OCPs in tilapia fish caught from Upper Egypt (Sohag) and compared with either that from northern part of Egypt (Damietta) or with fish cultured in a control location (Abbasa). Additionally, the effect of different cooking methods (boiling, grilling and pan-frying) on the residue levels of OCPs was investigated. The tested OCPs included pp-DDT and its metabolites pp-DDD and pp-DDE; hexachlorohexanes (HCHs) including α HCH and γ HCH; heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide; aldrin and endrin; chlordane, methoxychlor and hexachloride benzene and were detected using electron capture gas chromatography equipped with Ni63 – electron capture detector. The recorded results revealed that tilapia collected from Damietta had the highest incidence of OCPs’ contamination (75%), over than that collected from Sohag (60%) compared to control value (35%). All examined samples had OCPs residues within the maximum permissible limits (MPLs) set by world health organization. Pan-frying had the highest reduction effect on the OCPs’ residues followed by grilling and boiling. The public health significance of the examined OCPs was also discussed.

Key words: Tilapia; organochlorine pesticides; cooking methods; Egypt

Full Text:



(1) Baboli MJ, Velayatzadeh M, Branch A. Determination of heavy metals and trace elements in the muscles of marine shrimp, Fenneropenaeus merguiensis from Persian Gulf, Iran. J Animal Plant Sci 2013; 23 (3): 786–91.

(2) Jones KC, De Voogt P. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs): state of the science. Environ Pollut 1999; 100 (1-3): 209–21.

(3) Iwata H, Tanabe S, Sakai N, Tatsukawa R. Distribution of persistent organochlorines in the oceanic air and surface seawater and the role of ocean on their global transport and fate. Environ Sci Technol 1993; 27 (6): 1080–98.

(4) Ahmed MT, Loutfy N, El Shiekh E. Residue levels of DDE and PCBs in the blood serum of women in the Port Said region of Egypt. J Hazard Mater 2002; 89 (1): 41–48.

(5) Elbashir AB, Abdelbagi AO, Hammad AMA, Elzorgani GA, Laing MD. Levels of organochlorine pesticides in the blood of people living in areas of intensive pesticide use in Sudan. Environ Monit Assess 2015; 187 (3): 68.

(6) Luzardo OP, Boada LD, Carranza C, Ruiz-Suárez N, Henríquez-Hernández LA, Valerón PF, Zumbado M, Camacho M, Arellano JL. Socioeconomic development as a determinant of the levels of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in the inhabitants of Western and Central African countries. Sci Total Environ 2014; 497: 97–105.

(7) Yahia D, Elsharkawy EE. Multi pesticide and PCB residues in Nile tilapia and catfish in Assiut city, Egypt. Science Total Environ 2014; 466: 306–14.

(8) Bretveld RW, Hooiveld M, Zielhuis GA, Pellegrino A, van Rooij IA, Roeleveld N. Reproductive disorders among male and female greenhouse workers. Reprod Toxicol 2008; 25 (1): 107–14.

(9) Thompson LA, Darwish WS, Ikenaka Y, Nakayama SM, Mizukawa H, Ishizuka M. Organochlorine pesticide contamination of foods in Africa: incidence and public health significance. J Vet Med Sci 2017; 79 (4): 751–64.

(10) Azab MM, Darwish AA, Mahmoud HA, Sdeek FA. Residue levels of organochlorine pesticides in some ecosystem components of Manzala Lake. Environ Monit Assess 2013; 185 (12): 10257–68.

(11) Mohamed AA, Tharwat AE, Khalifa HA. Estimation of organochlorine pesticides and heavy metal residues in two species of mostly consumed fish in Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. Jpn J Vet Res 2016; 64 (Suppl 2): S233–41.

(12) Darwish WS, Ikenaka Y, Nakayama S, Mizukawa H, Ishizuka M. Mutagenicity of modelled-heat-treated meat extracts: Mutagenicity assay, analysis and mechanism of mutagenesis. Jpn J Vet Res 2015; 63 (4): 173–82.

(13) Yohannes YB, Ikenaka Y, Nakayama SM, Saengtienchai A, Watanabe K, Ishizuka M. Organochlorine pesticides and heavy metals in fish from Lake Awassa, Ethiopia: Insights from stable isotope analysis Chemosphere 2013; 91 (6):


(14) Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) International, In P. Cunnif (Ed.), Official methods of analysis of AOAC International, Gaithersburg, MD, USA: AOAC International, 16th edition, 1999.

(15) Henry L, Kishimba MA. Pesticide residues in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Nile perch (Lates niloticus) from Southern Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Environ Pollut 2006; 140 (2): 348–354.

(16) Kasozi GN, Kiremire BT, Bugenyi FWB, Kirsch NH, Nkedi-Kizza P. Organochlorine residues in fish and water samples from Lake Victoria, Uganda. J Environ Qual 2006; 35 (2): 584–9.

(17) Shaker EM, Elsharkawy EE. Organo-chlorine and organophosphorus pesticide residues in raw buffalo milk from agroindustrial areas in Assiut, Egypt. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2015; 39: 433–40.

(18) World Health Organization (WHO). Health risks of persistent organic pollutants from long-range transboundary air pollution 2003.

(19) Yohannes YB, Ikenaka Y, Saengtienchai A, Watanabe KP, Nakayama SMM, Ishizuka M. Concentrations and human health risk assessment of organochlorine pesticides in edible fish species from a Rift Valley lake-Lake Ziway, Ethiopia. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2014; 106: 95–101.

(20) Mahmoud AF, Ikenaka Y, Yohannes YB, Darwish WS, Eldaly EA, Morshdy AE, Nakayama SM, Mizukawa H, Ishizuka M. Distribution and health risk assessment of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) residue in edible cattle tissues from northeastern part of Egypt: High accumulation level of OCPs in tongue. Chemosphere 2016; 144:


(21) McKinlay R, Plant JA, Bell JNB, Voulvoulis N. Calculating human exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides via agricultural and non-agricultural exposure routes. Sci Total Environ 2008; 398 (1-3): 1–12.



  • There are currently no refbacks.