Development of liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry for the determination of patulin in apple juice: investigation of its contamination levels in Japan.J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 15; 52(25):7464-8.JA
Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by mainly Penicillium species, for example, P. expansum, and Aspergillus species. There are several reports of patulin contamination in apple juice. Last year, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan set the maximum allowable level of patulin in apple juice at 50 ppb and decided that the measurement of patulin levels in apple juice products should be conducted. To this end, a simple, accurate, and selective analytical method for the detection of patulin at levels lower than 5 ppb, the detection limit, is desired. This paper reports the development of an analytical method that employs solid-phase extraction-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPE-LC-MS). When MS measurements were conducted with the selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode, the pseudomolecular ions at m/z 153 and 156 were used to monitor patulin and (13)C(3)-labeled patulin, respectively. The detection limit (S/N = 3) and the quantification limit (S/N = 10) of patulin at injection levels into LC-MS were 12.5 and 25 pg, respectively. However, when the actual sample was applied for the analysis based on the developed method including the sample preparation, the detection limit (S/N = 3) and quantification limit (S/N = 10) were 2.5 and 5 pg in sample, respectively. The calibration curve obtained for concentrations ranging from 5 to 500 ppb showed good linearity with a coefficient of determination (r (2)) of 0.999. In addition, the recovery was >95% when an internal standard was used. The method was applied to the analysis of 76 apple juice samples from Japan, and as a result, patulin levels ranging from <1.0 to 45 ppb (detection frequency = 15/76) were detected. In this study, it was found that patulin was a greater contaminant in concentration/reduction than in "not from concentrate" apple juice.