Recently Isolated Fungus aids in the detoxification of Patulin a potentially dangerous food Toxin


Recently Isolated Fungus aids in the detoxification of Patulin a potentially dangerous food Toxin.


A mycotoxin called patulin can be produced by several molds, particularly those from the Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Byssochlamys genera. It is frequently discovered in many fruits, especially apples, and apple-based foods including apple juice, applesauce, and cider. Because it can endanger customers' health, patulin contamination in food is a significant concern. In this blog, we going to see how fungus helps detoxify another fungal mycotoxin.

Patulin is a secondary metabolite produced from molds that frequently develops on fruits, especially when such fruits are harmed or decomposing. One of the main fungi responsible for the formation of patulin in apples is Penicillium expansum.

Patulin toxicity, which causes a wide range of health risks like nausea, lung congestion, ulcers, intestinal hemorrhages, and even more serious effects like DNA damage, immunosuppression, and increased cancer risk, is a major worry across the globe. Because infants are more susceptible to the effects of patulin, many nations have placed regulations on the allowed levels of patulin in food products, particularly baby meals.

Since there is no specific treatment for patulin toxicity, supportive care is mainly used to manage the symptoms and potential side effects of exposure to patulin. If someone is thought to have consumed or been exposed to patulin, they should get help very away. Depending on the degree of exposure and unique factors, the severity of symptoms and the type of treatment needed can change. To this purpose, a study team from Tokyo University of Science (TUS) in Japan, led by Associate Professor Toshiki Furuya, recently searched for soil microorganisms that could be able to control patulin toxicity.

The researcher's team searched for microorganisms that might endure in the presence of the toxin by isolating them from soil samples in a patulin-rich environment. After that, they employed high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in a second screening run to identify the survivors that were most efficient in breaking down patulin into different, less dangerous chemical compounds. They thus discovered a filamentous fungal (mold) strain, Acremonium sp. or "TUS-MM1," from the genus Acremonium, which matched the specifications. One significant discovery was that any ingested patulin was converted by TUS-MM1 cells into desoxypatulinic acid, which is significantly less hazardous than patulin.

The scientists also discovered that certain of the substances generated by TUS-MM1 cells have the ability to change patulin into other molecules. They noticed different patulin breakdown products by combining patulin with the extracellular secretions of TUS-MM1 cells and analyzing the results using HPLC. It's encouraging to know that these compounds are much less harmful than patulin itself, according to tests on E. coli bacterium cells. Further chemical investigations by the researchers revealed that a thermally stable but highly reactive molecule with a low molecular weight was the primary catalyst for patulin transformation outside of cells.

In conclusion, this study moves us one step closer to effective ways to regulate the amount of patulin in food. A variety of filamentous fungal strains may use the degradation pathway often and to great effect in mycotoxin detoxification. Additionally, the TUS-MM1 strain and its constituent parts have the potential to be used in the biocontrol of patulin contamination. This finding gives us hope that we will someday be able to obtain toxic-free food.


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