The development of an analytical method for two mycotoxins, patulin and verruculogen, and survey of their presence in commercial tomato pulp

Desenvolvimento de um método analítico para duas micotoxinas, patulina e verruculogeno, e levantamento da sua incidência em polpa comercial de tomate

The mycotoxin patulin causes gastroinstestinal distress, neurotoxic and immunotoxic effects in animals. It can be produced by several species of Penicillium, Aspergillus and Byssochlamys and it has been found in fruits, vegetables and cereals. Verruculogen is a toxin produced mainly by Penicillium and Aspergillus spp. and causes severe tremors in affected animals. Tomatoes are especially susceptible to fungi invasion and their products need to be investigated for possible mycotoxin contamination. A method for the determination of patulin and verruculogen in tomato products was developed involving an extraction with ethyl acetate, a cleanup by silica gel column and determination and confirmation by high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector. The quantification limits of the method, defined as the minimum amount that allowed quantification and confirmation by the DAD detector, were 10 ng/g and 20 ng/g. The average recovery for patulin at five levels of addition (from 20 to 200 ng/g) was 75% and at the single level of 100 ng/g was 90 % .The average recovery for verruculogen at five levels of addition (from 50 to 300 ng/g) was 54% and at the single level of 100 ng/g was 52%. The processing of two tomato plants was followed during 1996, 1997, and 1998. Eighty-four samples of tomato pulp were analyzed for patulin and verruculogen. The toxins were not detected in any of the samples.

mycotoxins; patulin; verruculogen; tomato products

Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia USP - ICB III - Dep. de Microbiologia, Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2415, Cidade Universitária, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP - Brasil, Ramal USP 7979, Tel. / Fax: (55 11) 3813-9647 ou 3037-7095 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil