Major GoalsOur hypothesis is that the oral bioavailability of pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables depends on the composition and structure of any nanoemulsions consumed with them, as well as the molecular and physicochemical characteristics of the pesticides themselves. Our goal is therefore to carry out systematic experiments that will enable us to identify those nanoemulsion and pesticide characteristics that may lead to an increased bioavailability of pesticides.The impact of nanoemulsion properties on the bioavailability of selected pesticides in fruits and vegetables will be established using gastrointestinal tract (GIT), cell culture, and animal models. This knowledge will then be used to elucidate the major factors impacting pesticide bioavailability. The specific aims of the project are:Aim 1: Establish Influence of Nanoemulsion and Pesticide Properties on Pesticide Bioavailability. Fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) will be collected and then treated with common pesticides at known levels. The produce will then be mixed with different types and amounts of nanoemulsion and passed through a simulated GIT consisting of mouth, stomach, & small intestine phases. The impact of nanoemulsion composition (lipid and emulsifier type) and structure (particle size distribution) on the in vitro bioavailability of the pesticides will be measured. Experiments will be carried out using pesticides with different molecular properties (molecular weight, hydrophobicity, charge). This information will enable us to determine the role of nanoemulsion and pesticide characteristics on the bioavailability of pesticide residues on produce. Emphasis will be given to establishing the underlying physicochemical mechanisms involved.Aim 2: Demonstrate Impact of Nanoemulsions on Pesticide Uptake and Toxicity using Animal Feeding Studies. The ability of nanoemulsions to increase the uptake and toxicity of pesticides will be demonstrated using an animal model. Nanoemulsions and pesticides that led to the greatest increase in in vitro bioavailability in Aim 1 would be selected for the animal studies. After oral administration of the pesticide-treated produce and nanoemulsions, the levels of pesticides in the systemic circulation and specific tissues of the test animals will be measured, as well as toxicity markers.