Fate of pesticide residues in beer and its by-products

Elena Hakme*, Ida Kallehauge Nielsen, Jennifer Fermina Madsen, Lasse Munch Storkehave, Mette Skjold Elmelund Pedersen, Benjamin Luke Schulz, Mette Erecius Poulsen, Timothy John Hobley, Lene Duedahl-Olesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Sustainable beer production requires a comprehensive assessment of potential hazards such as pesticides in both the finished product and waste streams, as these streams can be used to create high-value by-products. This study presents the tracking of 13 fungicides (azoxystrobin, boscalid, epoxiconazole, fenpropidin, fenpropimorph, fluquiconazole, flutriafol, fluxapyroxad, kresoxym-methyl, spiroxamine, propiconazole, prothioconazole-desthio, and tebuconazole), two insecticides (chlorpyrifos-methyl and deltamethrin), one herbicide (glyphosate), and one growth regulator (mepiquat) through the beer brewing process. Field-treated rye, wheat, and barley samples containing pesticide residues were used as adjunct during brewing. Samples of the beer as well as the by-products (spent grain, spent hops, trub and spent yeast) were collected and extracted with a modified QuEChERS method for pesticide residues analysis using GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS. Results show that an average of 58% of pesticide residues are retrieved in the by-products with the highest fraction (53%) recovered in the spent grain, 4% in trub, 1% in spent hops, no residues detected in spent yeast and 9% in the beer. This is consistent with these nonpolar pesticides tending to remain adsorbed to the spent grain during brewing. Glyphosate and mepiquat, the most polar pesticides included in this study, showed a different behavior, with the largest fraction (>80%) being retrieved in sweet wort and transferred to the beer. Processing factors were generated for each pesticide from the adjunct to the beer and to the four by-products.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants - Part A
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Pesticide residues
  • By- products
  • Processing factors


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