• Imidacloprid;
  • QuEChERS method;
  • Maximum residue limit;
  • Estimated daily intake;
  • Hazard index


A total of 250 samples—including fruits, fruit juices, and baby foods (50 samples each), vegetables (70 samples), and cereals (30 samples)—were collected from Lucknow, India, and analyzed for the presence of imidacloprid residues. The QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) method of extraction coupled with high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis were carried out, and imidacloprid residues were qualitatively confirmed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Imidacloprid was not detected in samples of fruit juices and baby foods. It was, however, detected in 38 samples of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, which is about 15.20% of the total samples. Of samples of fruits, 22% showed the presence of imidacloprid, and 2% of samples showed residues above the maximal residue limit. Although imidacloprid was detected in 24% of vegetable samples, only 5.71% showed the presence of imidacloprid above the maximal residue limit. However, 33% of cereal samples showed the presence of imidacloprid, and about 3% of samples were above the maximal residue limit. The calculated estimated daily intake ranged between 0.004 and 0.131 µg/kg body weight, and the hazard indices ranged from 0.007 to 0.218 for these food commodities. It is therefore indicated that lifetime consumption of vegetables, fruits, fruit juices, baby foods, wheat, rice, and pulses may not pose a health hazard for the population of Lucknow because the hazard indices for imidacloprid residues were below one. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2013;32:723–727. © 2012 SETAC