Removing Harmful Toxins from Apple Juice Using Yeast

Greg Howard
22nd May, 2024

Removing Harmful Toxins from Apple Juice Using Yeast

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Northwest A&F University found that the yeast K. marxianus YG-4 can detoxify the harmful mycotoxin PAT in apple juice
  • K. marxianus YG-4 removes PAT through adsorption, binding it to the cell wall, and degradation, converting it into a non-toxic compound
  • The detoxification process not only makes the apple juice safer but also enhances its nutritional value by increasing organic acids and polyphenols
Patulin (PAT) is a harmful mycotoxin produced by Penicillium species, commonly found in contaminated fruits and fruit products. This study, conducted by researchers at Northwest A&F University, explores the detoxification of PAT by Kluyveromyces marxianus YG-4 (K. marxianus YG-4) and its application in apple juice[1]. The research reveals that K. marxianus YG-4 can detoxify PAT through two main mechanisms: adsorption and degradation. Adsorption involves binding PAT to specific sites on the cell wall of K. marxianus YG-4, including polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids. The adsorption process is facilitated by hydroxyl groups, amino acid side chains, carboxyl groups, and ester groups, which interact through strong forces such as ion interactions, electrostatic interactions, and hydrogen bonding. These interactions ensure that PAT is not easily eluted from the cell wall. In addition to adsorption, K. marxianus YG-4 also degrades PAT using an intracellular enzyme, converting it into desoxypatulinic acid (DPA), a compound without cytotoxicity. This dual mechanism of detoxification—adsorption and subsequent degradation—makes K. marxianus YG-4 an effective agent for eliminating PAT contamination. This study builds on previous research that has sought to address the issue of PAT contamination in food products. For instance, a sensor-based approach was developed to detect PAT using ratiometric fluorescence measurement and strand displacement strategy, which showed high sensitivity and accuracy in detecting PAT in apple juice[2]. However, while detection is crucial, the ability to remove or detoxify PAT is equally important. The current study by Northwest A&F University provides a solution by not only detecting but also detoxifying PAT in apple juice. Another relevant study investigated the hepatotoxicity of PAT, revealing significant liver damage in mice exposed to PAT and identifying specific biomarkers indicative of PAT exposure[3]. This underscores the importance of effective detoxification methods to prevent such health risks. Furthermore, research has explored the use of inactivated yeast powder to adsorb PAT from apple juice, demonstrating that yeast can effectively remove PAT under various conditions[4]. The current study expands on this by using a live yeast strain, K. marxianus YG-4, which not only adsorbs PAT but also degrades it, offering a more comprehensive detoxification approach. The application of K. marxianus YG-4 in apple juice resulted in a significant increase in the contents of organic acids and polyphenols, thereby improving the quality of the juice. This suggests that the detoxification process not only makes the juice safer but also enhances its nutritional value. In summary, the study conducted by Northwest A&F University demonstrates that K. marxianus YG-4 is a promising agent for the detoxification of PAT in apple juice. By combining adsorption and degradation mechanisms, K. marxianus YG-4 effectively removes PAT and improves the quality of the juice, providing a novel approach to addressing PAT contamination in food products.



Main Study

1) Detoxification of Mycotoxin Patulin by the Yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus YG-4 in Apple Juice.

Published 21st May, 2024

Related Studies

2) A rapid and simple ratiometric fluorescent sensor for patulin detection based on a stabilized DNA duplex probe containing less amount of aptamer-involved base pairs.

3) Identification of mouse metabolic variations related to patulin-induced acute and subacute hepatotoxicity by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry.

4) Ability of inactivated yeast powder to adsorb patulin from apple juice.

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