The Determination of Patulin in Grape Must and Wine

Corison, Catherine Anne

Patulin is a mold metabolite that has attracted considerable attention because of its toxic properties and suspected carcinogenic activity. It is produced by several species of Penicillium and Aspergillus that are responsible for food spoilage including P. urticae (P. patulum, P. griseofulvum), P. expansum (P. leucopus), A. clavatus, A. giganteus and A.terreus, as well as Byssochlamys nivea (Gymnoascus sp), a heat resistant contaminant of fruits and fruit juices (32). Most of the concern has focused on apple products. According to Stott and Bullerman (42), though patulin-producing molds have been found on a variety of foods, only apple juice and apple cider have been found to be naturally contaminated. Only a small percentage (1-4%) of molds growing on most foods are capable of producing patulin. By contrast, 42 out of 61 {66%) naturally-rotted apples were observed to yield Penicillium species that produce patulin (42). Apple products are, apparently, more likely to be contaminated than other food products. Because wines are occasionally, whether intentionally or unintentionally, made from moldy grapes, the possibility of mycotoxin contamination exists. The purpose of this work was to develop a sensitive method for the detection and quantification of patulin in grape juice and wine. The stability of patulin in grape juice and the effect of vinification on patulin levels was also investigated. Moldy grapes and the wines made from them were screened for the presence of patulin.