What is Patulin?

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What is Patulin? Blog Image


A research team from Tokyo University of Science (TUS) in Japan discovered fungus which helps in destroying a harmful food toxin called Patulin.

Key finding: 

  • The team identified a filamentous fungal strain, Acremonium sp. or "TUS-MM1," belonging to the genera Acremonium.
  • The scientists then performed various experiments to shed light on the mechanisms by which TUS-MM1 degraded patulin.
  • This involved incubating the mold strain in a patulin-rich solution and focusing on the substances that gradually appeared both inside and outside its cells in response to patulin over time.
  • They found that TUS-MM1 cells transformed any absorbed patulin into desoxypatulinic acid, a compound much less toxic than patulin, by adding hydrogen atoms to it.
  • The team also found that some of the compounds secreted by TUS-MM1 cells can transform patulin into other molecules.


About Patulin:

  • Patulin (C7H6O4) is a toxic mycotoxin produced by several types of fungi.
  • It is harmful to a wide range of creatures, including humans, mammals, plants, and microbes.
  • It can grow on damaged or decaying fruits, especially apples.
  • Impact on human health
    • It is responsible for a wide variety of health hazards, including nausea, lung congestion, ulcers, intestinal hemorrhages, and even more serious outcomes—such as DNA damage, immunosuppression and increased cancer risk.
    • Treatment of patulin toxicity includes oxygen therapy, immunotherapy, detoxification therapy, and nutrient therapy.


Q1) What is Desoxypatulinic acid?

Desoxypatulinic acid is a derivative of patulin and shares some structural similarities with it. While both patulin and desoxypatulinic acid are associated with mold-contaminated food, desoxypatulinic acid is considered less toxic than patulin.

Source: Researchers discover how fungus helps destroy harmful food toxin