Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Organic Fruit Juice Contaminated by Mycotoxin

In what may form a warning for the organic food industry this recent story follows the withdrawal from sale of a few batches of organic fruit juice. Tests had shown it contained slightly more than the permitted levels of the fungal mycotoxin patulin (56ppb versus the regulation limit of 50ppb) which results from contamination by fungus and growth.

Organic juices are of course usually only treated with a relatively short lived mild heat (pasteurisation) in order to reduce the contamination of the juice with microbes including fungi. It is suggested that this minimised the loss of nutrients in the drink and thus maximises its health-giving properties. The inference of this article is that this treatment though effective is perhaps not as effective as adding preservatives.

There are no known cases of sickness caused by this batch of juice and indeed exceeded permitted levels of toxin by such a small amount is unlikely to cause problems - patulin is a known carcinogen (cancer causing) and can be lethal to some animals but only at 30 000ppb. The permitted levels of patulin in food leave plenty of room for a wide safety margin.

Perhaps organic juice manufacturers need to be more aware of the importance of contamination and the dangers of higher mycotoxin levels and take a little more care in order to prevent this happening again.

1 comment:

Peter Thomos said...

Really Great blog about Organic Fruit Juice.
Thanks for sharing it!!

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