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CALS Research and Impact

Information about CALS research projects and their impact throughout the world

CALS projectJanuary 2007 - December 2009

Improving the safety of apple juice and cider

summary 
Prior to the findings of this research, there were no research-based guidelines for juice manufacturers to target for percentage of rotted fruit for juice production. The findings suggest that the targeted culling rates for apples to be less than 0.1% of Penicillium expansum infected fruit to ensure less than 50 ppb of patulin in the finished juice. Apple varieties tested were common domestic apples used for juice and cider production. There appeared to be a propensity for specific varieties of apples that are more susceptible to P. expansum infection and subsequent patulin production. The most susceptible varieties were Golden Supreme and McIntosh of the six varieties tested. It was also found that storage temperature had an effect on patulin levels in apples and it was found that lower refrigerated holding temperatures delayed the development of patulin levels in the apples. Based on this research, a target culling rate for rotted fruit was determined to be 0.1%. These findings can be used as guidelines for juice manufacturers, processors and regulatory agencies to reduce the levels of patulin in finished apple juice.
issue 
No research based guidelines existed for apple growers and juice manufacturers to target as the minimum amount of rotted fruit to be allowed in juice production to reduce the levels of patulin to less than 50 ppb, the regulatory action level in the US. Juice manufacturers now know that one rotted apple with a mycotoxing producing mold in a total of one bin, approximately 1000 apples will exceed the allowed limit for patulin in the finishe juice. The culling rates set by this research will reduce the amount of affected juice that will result in an economic savings for apple growers and juice processors while improving the safety of apple juice for consumers.
response 
Typical apple varieties used in juice production were inoculated with patulin producing mold and held to determine the incidence and production of patulin in the different apple varieties. The levels of patulin in the mold infected apples was determined and used to develop the target culling rates for rotted apples prior to juice production.
impact 
The culling rates set by this research will reduce the amount of affected juice that will result in an economic savings for apple growers and juice processors while improving the safety of apple juice for consumers.
funding type 
Unspecified
funded by 
Hatch
Special Grants
Unrestricted Funds
Smith Lever 3(b) & (c)
researchers involved 
  • Churey, John J
  • Padilla-Zakour, Olga I.
  • SALOMÃO, BEATRIZ C. M.
  • Worobo, Randy W.
organizations involved 
Federal University of Santa Catarina, UFSC
academic priority area 
Land Grant Mission
contribution area 
Extension/Outreach
Research
domestic geographic focus 
All NY Counties
All U.S. states
United States
international geographic focus 
Argentina
Asia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Europe
France
Germany
Mexico
New Zealand
South America
Spain
Turkey
Ukraine
England
Great Britain
Eastern Europe
Netherlands
North America
Czech Republic
USDA topic area 
Enhance Protection and Safety of Agriculture and Food Supply
timeframe 
January 2007 - December 2009