I have olive oil that is infused with rosemary (you can’t see the rosemary, it just looks like olive oil). I want to place a sprig of rosemary into small 6” bottles and pour the oil into the bottles to give as gifts. How can I remove pesticides from the rosemary sprigs before placing them in the bottles? Thank you for your help!
Thanks for your question. It’s a good one!
There is no procedure that I am aware of that removes all pesticide from rosemary, since many pesticides bind tightly to plant tissues.
The best I can recommend is washing rosemary with warm water containing some soap; it may remove some pesticide but not totally. Otherwise, purchase rosemary that has been grow organically.
Also, another food safety concern is botulism when storing herbs in oil. The organism that causes botulism (Clostridium botulinum) grows in environments where oxygen is excluded (such as in oil) and when the herb contains enough water to support bacterial growth.
The safest way to do this is to acidify the rosemary before adding it to the oil. Here is a link to a resource developed by Extension specialists and researchers at the University of Idaho. I highly recommend it!
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