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Investigation of patulin contamination in apple juice sold in retail outlets in Italy and South Africa Part A Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment

Katerere, D.R., Stockenström, S., Thembo, K.M., Balducci, G., Shephard, G.S.
Food additives & contaminants 2007 v.24 no.6 pp. 630-634
apple juice, apple cider, apples, microbial detection, toxigenic strains, patulin, toxic substances, food pathogens, food contamination, reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography, solid phase extraction, quantitative analysis, South Africa, Italy
A study of apple juice products sold in Italy and South Africa was initially carried out on 20 samples bought in Cesena, Italy, and Tygerberg in Cape Town, South Africa. The samples were bought at random and analysed for patulin contamination. All 12 of the Italian samples had no detectable levels of patulin, except one, which was just slightly above the lowest regulatory limit of 10 ng ml-1. On the other hand, five of the eight South African samples were all contaminated with patulin levels above 10 ng ml-1, with one showing a concentration of 75 ng ml-1, well above the highest regulated limit of 50 ng ml-1. This latter result led to a more targeted investigation with 14 samples being purchased in the low-income areas of Tygerberg where the initial samples were sourced. These samples confirmed that there might be a problem of mycotoxin contamination in apple juices products sold to low-income consumers because half of the samples showed patulin contamination of which four had levels well above the acceptable limits. This is the first study in South Africa to look at apple juice products in low-income areas and it points to a need to intervene and introduce quality systems in the supply chain of the manufacture and packaging of apple juice products by independent small business.