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Occurrence of Patulin in Organic, Conventional, and Handcrafted Apple Juices Marketed in Belgium

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The aim of this research was to compare the occurrence of patulin in a large group of organic, conventional, and handcrafted apple juices marketed in Belgium. An analytical procedure based on high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection was validated and used to analyze 177 apple juice samples: 65 organic, 90 conventional, and 22 handcrafted. Patulin was detected in 22 samples (12%), and quantification was possible in 10 (6%) of these samples. The patulin content was higher than the European legal limit of 50 μg/liter in two samples of organic apple juice. Although, the incidence of patulin in organic (12%), conventional (13%), and handcrafted (10%) apple juices was not significantly different (P = 0.863), the mean concentration of patulin in contaminated samples was significantly higher in organic (43.1 μg/liter) than in conventional (10.2 μg/liter) (P = 0.02) and handcrafted (10.5 μg/liter) (P = 0.037) apple juice. The highest patulin concentrations were found in the most expensive apple juices because of the higher price of organic apple juice. This relation was not observed when only conventional apple juices were analyzed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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