Factors Affecting Patulin Production 1371 Introduction

At present, there are a number of factors known to affect production of patulin in apple products. Within a species, the mycotoxigenic potential of a fungus depends mainly on the strain of fungus. Although genetic variation may be the ultimate cause of the differences between strains with regard to fungal growth and mycotoxin production, physical and chemical properties of the food and environmental factors such as incubation temperature and time are also important factors [86]. Patulin production in fruit is believed to be affected by many factors including apple cultivar, geographical location where the fruit is grown and harvested, climate, preharvest treatments, method of harvest, surface defects on the fruit, postharvest treatments, and storage conditions. At present, it is not clear which of these factors plays the greatest role in mycotoxin production or how they can be manipulated to prevent or reduce patulin contamination of apple products. A better understanding of the aspects influencing patulin production may aid in developing effective means for controlling mycotoxin formation in food. The following is a description of some factors known to affect patulin production in apples.

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