Toxins Appear in Apple Juice Due to Fungicide Cancellations

Contaminated Apple

Apple Contaminated by Penicillium expansum

Patulin is a mycotoxin that is produced by certain species of molds that may grow on a variety of foods. Patulin does not appear to pose a safety concern with the exception of apple juice; patulin present in apple juice survives the pasteurization process.

The US FDA conducted a review of the toxicological studies on patulin and this found that patulin is toxic upon repeated administration of oral doses around 1.5 mg/kg body weight (bw), which caused premature death in rats.

β€œIn March this year, a consignment of Australian apple juice was tested in Japan and found to have unacceptably high levels of the toxin patulin in it.

The initial critical control point for reducing the risk of patulin contamination of apples is the control of P. expansum in the orchard.

In recent times P. expansum has been well controlled in the orchard and in postharvest by applications and drenches of Benomyl and its related fungicide carbendazim. Unfortunately these products have been removed from the market due to pesticide safety concerns such that the risk of high levels of mycotoxins on the fruit has increased.”

Author: Brown, G.
Affiliation: Technical Editor.
Title: Are your fruit safe for juice? Patulin – the toxic substance found in juice fruit.
Source: Australian Fruitgrower. June 2012.

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