The mycotoxin patulin is mainly found in rotting apples and is produced by the mold fungi Aspergillus and Penicillium.

Although this is not a very strong toxin, a genotoxicity was detected in studies, i.e. there is a potential for a mutagenic and/or carcinogenic effect. The patulin quantity detected in apple products is generally taken as a measured value for the quality of the apples used for the food production. Patulin can be contained in apple juice, apples sauce, apple puree, baby food and apple cider.

In many countries, there are restrictions for patulin in apple products. In November 2003, the EU specified the following limit values for patulin in food:

ProductsLimit value
Fruit juice, spirits and apple cider50 ppb
Solid apple products for immediate consumption25 ppb
Baby food, apple juice and apple products for young children10 ppb

The monitoring and detection of patulin can be made difficult by the low quantities of the toxin contained in the products. The sensitivity of the methods and sample preparation are therefore extremely important. In complex matrices, the detection of patulin can also be further impaired by other interfering components. EASIMIP™ PATULIN uses a procedure that is based on a MIP technology (MIP = molecularly imprinted polymers) and as a result, the test can be carried out in a specific, sensitive, quick and easy manner.

The columns contain a specific polymer that is specific to the toxin to be detected. After the extraction of the toxin, the sample extract is centrifuged, filtered and applied on to all MIP columns. All toxins in the sample are bound in the column by the polymer.  Finally, the column is washed in order to remove the material wrapped around it, then the toxin is dissolved through elution with an MIP solvent. The eluate is gathered before the HPLC analysis. The overall extraction and cleaning procedure lasts approximately 45 minutes. The result is an improved purification and concentration of the toxin from food samples for a much clearer chromatogram. Crystalline patulin standards and pectinase are also available.

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