The mycotoxin patulin: An updated short review on occurrence, toxicity and analytical challenges.


Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health, Department of Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]


Patulin (PAT) is a common mycotoxin in fruit products, especially in apples and apple-based products. The European Commission has set maximum levels for PAT in food. Nevertheless, worrying PAT levels were recently recorded in diverse foods across the world. Therefore, a worldwide follow-up of PAT-levels in foods should be considered. Because of PAT's high probability in food products, the toxicological implications for humans need to be addressed as well. Recent studies proved adverse health effects of PAT, such as hepatotoxicity, gastrointestinal alterations and inmunotoxicity. In comparison to the toxicity of other mycotoxins such as ochratoxin A, PAT's immunotoxicity can be even more outspoken destructive. In addition, PAT is a low-molecular-weight and highly polar molecule, resulting in many analytical challenges for its detection. As the analytical techniques are continuously improving, PAT determination in multi-mycotoxin analysis has advanced using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) during the last year. Finally, the presence and toxicity of PAT requires a biomarker method to assess its exposure among the population. To date, however, there is no information regarding PAT biomarkers in biological samples. This short review highlights the PAT-occurrence profile, toxicological discoveries and analytical challenges of 2014 until to date.