Introduction

Apples and other pome fruit are major food crops, with over 40 million tons being produced worldwide [110]. Fungal diseases, and in particular blue mold rot from P. expansum, cause significant economic losses in the fruit growing and processing industries. The losses from this disease can be significant (up to 10% of stored fruit) but can be substantially reduced by following proper sanitation and control measures. An integrated approach, including careful handing of fruit and strict hygiene in orchard, packinghouse, and in storage, must be used for controlling P. expansum and hence patulin formation in fruit. Reducing patulin levels in fruit juice and other processed apple products can be achieved through the use of sound, healthy fruit, modified atmosphere storage, culling of damaged and rotted fruit, trimming of rotted tissue, filtering juice through activated carbon, and fermentation of cider with added yeast [80]. Guidelines for reducing postharvest decay of apples and other fruits have been published [73,95,111,112]. Codex Alimentarius Commission [92] published recommendations for preventing patulin contamination of apple juice.

The next sections outline preharvest, harvest, and postharvest methods for controlling patulin levels in apple products.

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