February 24, 2023

Patulin in apples

Patulin is viewed as a natural contaminant in apple-based products, particularly apple juice and unfermented apple cider. It was first isolated from Penicillium griseofulvum in 1943 by Harold Raistrick.

Initially identified as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, patulin was reclassified as a mycotoxin in the 1960s because of its acute toxicity in human beings.

People get exposed to Patulin mainly through consuming infected food products. Fruit contamination might occur at different stages, including in field, during harvesting, at post-harvesting, during transportation, in stores, during display and throughout the processing stages if the produce is not sold raw.

Patulin is a mycotoxin found in apples and is produced by certain species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Byssochlamys.

Frequently found in the rotten tissues of apples, patulin accumulation correlates with apparent symptoms of blue mold. Patulin can also occur in various mouldy fruits, grains and other foods. Major human dietary sources of patulin are apples and apple juice made from affected fruit.

The presence of blue mould is generally a good indicator that patulin is present in the fruit. The fungus infects fruit that is wounded or damaged, for example, by insects, bruising or hail.

Apple blue mold usually starts with the invasion of P. expansum spores on the wounds of fresh apples. Such stem punctures, insect injuries, and bruises are created during the picking and handling operations in the apple orchard, until the final processing steps of products.

According to the World Health Organization, the maximum acceptable level of Patulin is set at 50 μg/L in apple juice, 50 μg/kg in solid apples, and 10 μg/L in kids and baby apple-based foods.
Patulin in apples

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