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#27664 - 10/19/04 01:19 PM Interesting Info. on Fruits
Anonymous
Unregistered


Remember when your mother or grandmother refused to buy fruits that had bruises on them? Well there was a good reason for their refusal to do so. Most common bruised fruits contain a major fruit mold toxin called Patulin . Patulin grows in patches in the intestine and allows E-coli and Shigella (a family of bacteria which causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after exposure to the bacterium with the diarrhea often being bloody) to climb through the colon wall. The bacteria also invades regions of injury and tumors. Peeling fruit and avoiding bruised fruit or dubious quality fruit is, therefore, highly recommended.

Patulin is a toxic chemical produced from a number of moulds such as Penicillium and Aspergillus and although apples tend to be the major source, any mouldy or rotten fruit could contain this toxin. Patulin is also a mycotoxin which inhibits the uptake of potassium. Potassium is essential for water balance and osmosis & thus electrolyte balance. Potassium helps maintain normal acid-base balance (and thus aids in controlling blood pressure). Potassium is also essential for transmitting nerve impulses for muscle action (especially for the heart) and regulating the release of insulin from the pancreas. Potassium deficiency can result in muscle weakness, apathy and abnormal heartbeat.

Grapes and berries also suffer their own contamination from another mycotoxin called ochratoxin (OTA). OTA has been known to induce tumours in the animal kidney and other organs and a high intake in humans has been linked with renal diseases, urinary tract cancers and estrogenic-related problems.

To elminiate the risk of patulin and ochratoxin contamination in fruits:

1) cut away any bruised areas on fruits.

2) Wash the outside of fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C.

3) Since berries and grapes can be moldy if they are not perfectly fresh and firm when purchased, soak them in water with a bit of vitamin C. Do not purchase berries in a package that does not allow air flow. For example, ones wrapped in air tight packaging get moldy much faster than those in those small plastic bins with air holes.

I felt it important to bring these two mycotoxins to light since they involve fruits and many members use fresh fruits when they're in season and so should be aware of possible mycotoxin issues related to fruits especially apples, grapes and berries. I also have wondered if some of the more recent glider symptomology, illnesses and/or deaths may have been related to patulin and/or ochratoxin. We'll never know for sure but being aware of these mycotoxins and how they can be reduced/eliminated is certainly important for the health and welfare of our gliders.

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#27665 - 10/19/04 01:43 PM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Wow! As always, many many thanks for sharing this information.
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#27666 - 10/19/04 01:59 PM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
I'd love to again make a case for using the death database, so that when deaths occur, we can trace common features -- even if it's only that gliders were commonly fed certain kinds of fruits and vegetables. If we found a high rate of death and a high rate of being fed berries or grapes or other fruit, we could begin to see if there's a connection.

It's relatively rare that a person losing a glider uses the death database, however. I wish that weren't so.

Interesting thoughts, Glideroo -- thanks for sharing.
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#27667 - 10/19/04 02:19 PM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
A VERY interesting read Glideroo... thanks a ton! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
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#27668 - 10/19/04 03:08 PM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
That's very interesting. Wonder if these bacterias are destroyed when fruits are processed into juice. Recently I read an article that said damaged and bruised fruit that was not acceptable was saved and processed into juice. The article was referring to apples and oranges specifically. Guess it would apply to other fruits and berries as well as tomatoes. How safe are the juices we buy?
Charlie H
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#27669 - 10/19/04 03:26 PM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


WOW! Charlie, that makes me not want to drink juice anymore! Where did you read this? I would like to check it out! Please PM me with the info if you still have it! Thanks.

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#27670 - 10/20/04 03:40 AM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"magenta"] no, charlie. post it here, so we can all see. i am concerned/interested too. thanx.[/]

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#27671 - 10/20/04 04:16 AM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


WOW!! Thanks for the info!

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#27672 - 10/20/04 10:23 AM Re: Interesting Info. on Fruits [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Charlie: you are correct in that there are unscrupulous fruit growers out there who will use bruised fruit for juice purposes but not all growers fall into this category. Additionally, the issue of tainted fruit (apples in particular) depends on other factors as well.

Apples more prone to patulin and/or other mold problems involve those with open calyx tubes (area at bottom of apple). Apples with open calyx tubes include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Wagener, Macoun and Gravenstein. What happens is mold infection is initiated at the open calyx and then extends inward to cause a black fungus core rot. These fruits ripen early but the decay is only obvious when the fruit is cut in half. I found this to be particularly true of Red Delicious apples & quit using them well over a year ago. Types of mold/fungi found in discolored or moldy carpel areas of apples with open calyx tubes include species of Penicillium, Physalospora, Alternaria, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Coniothyrium, Aspergillus, and Botrytis. It should also be noted that some variety of apples are stored for as long as a year prior to reaching supermarkets. This tends to be especially true where Red Delicious apples are concerned. Thus in some seasons a substantial number of Delicious apples coming out of storage will be affected by molds/fungi depending on how the apples were handled during the growing/storage seasons. Another issue with respect to apples with open calyx tubes is the fact that the open calyx tubes may also permit certain chemical pesticides to penetrate to the carpels and injure them.

PATULIN RISK IN JUICES:

The FDA believes risks are minimal for consuming juice containing patulin if processors control the level to 50 mg/kg (50 parts per billion (50 ppb)) or lower. The international organization Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) is considering reducing the maximum level to 25 ppb from 50 ppb due to the high intake of apple juice by young children and the possibility that they may exceed the acceptable daily intake.

Not all apple varieties are equally affected by these factors. Current research suggests that varieties with an open calyx are a greater risk for patulin development within the core of the apple. In such situations, damage to the fruit is not easily detected and the apple may not be removed prior to pressing for juice purposes. This is one reason why it is more practical for reduction rather than prevention of this toxin.

***Patulin is destroyed by fermentation, which means it is not found in either alcoholic fruit beverages or vinegar produced by fruit juices. Patulin will, however, survive the pasteurization process if already present in the juice.***


Factors Which Can Affect Patulin Levels In Apples and Apple Juice:

The potential for high patulin levels to appear in apple juice depends on several factors. There is no one factor which determines whether the juice contains high levels of patulin. The most significant indicators are:

1) Were fallen apples (grounders) used in the production of the juice? Fallen apples are more likely to contain high levels of patulin than apples picked from the tree.

2) What is the condition of the apples at the time of harvest? Apples with visible damage (e.g., rots, wounds, bird or insect damage, etc.) are more likely to contain high levels of patulin than apples without such visible defects.

3) How are the apples handled prior to storage? Apples bruised during handling are more likely to develop patulin.

4) What are the storage conditions of apples? Mould growth normally occurs in a warm, humid environment. Apples stored under abusive temperature or atmospheric conditions are more likely to have higher levels of patulin than apples stored under controlled conditions. Even a short transportation under bad conditions (humidity and temperature) may increase patulin levels significantly.

5) Are apples monitored during storage? Stored apples should be examined regularly for rot or mould and fruit removed before extensive damage occurs. A healthy looking apple can contain patulin (rotten core). A sampling plan should be in place to cut apples to determine if any have internal moulds. This may be more critical for specific varieties as indicated below.

6) Are apples culled or trimmed prior to juice production? Including a process step prior to pressing to physically remove any apples that show visible mycelia (network of hyphae or threadlike tubular filaments possessed by many fungi that function in nutrient absorption and transfer) or rot will reduce patulin levels.

Obviously, the consumer has no way of knowing how the apples were picked, handled, stored and culled. Things we can do to reduce the risk of Patulin and/or other mold/fungi contamination in apples/apple juice we use for our gliders:

1) As a precaution, use a well-known brand name of apple juice rather than using a generic brand for those who make up BML mix. The brand I have been using the past 3 years is Motts & I've not noted any health-related issues with my gliders with respect to the Motts apple juice.

2) if using apples as a fruit for your gliders to eat, choose an apple not known to have open calyx systems. I use either Macintosh or Cortland apples which are grown locally.

3) if you cut an apple in half and note some type of decay or rot in the center, discard the apple immediately rather than risk using the apple.

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