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Martina Bevardi, Jadranka Frece, Dragana Mesarek, Jasna Bošnir, Jasna Mrvčić, Frane Delaš and Ksenija Markov

Fungicides are the most common agents used in postharvest treatment of fruit and are the most effective against blue mould, primarily caused by Penicillium expansum. Alternatively, blue mould can be treated with antagonistic microorganisms naturally occurring on fruit, such as the bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans. The aim of this study was to establish the antifungal potential of the G. oxydans 1J strain isolated from apple surface against Penicillium expansum in culture and apple juice and to compare it with the efficiency of a reference strain G. oxydans ATCC 621H. The highest antifungal activity of G. oxydans 1J was observed between days 3 and 9 with no colony growth, while on day 12, P. expansum colony diameter was reduced to 42.3 % of the control diameter. Although G. oxydans 1J did not fully inhibit mould growth, it showed a high level of efficiency and completely prevented patulin accumulation in apple juice.

Open access

Martina Bevardi, Marinko Petrović, Ksenija Markov and Jasna Bošnir

Abstract

Mycotoxin patulin is one of the quality indicators for apple juice. Like other mycotoxins, it raises consumer health concerns. The issue of low quality is particularly relevant for apples provided by small producers, whose quality control may not be standardised. As sulphur dioxide (SO2) is common in fruit preservation against fungi, the aim of this study was to determine how efficient it is in degrading patulin in apple juices stored in real-life conditions. This included refrigerated (4 °C) and non-refrigerated warehouses/environments (30 °C) over 8, 10, 12, and 20 weeks of storage. Apple juice was diluted to 0.010 μg g-1, 0.050 μg g-1, and 0.100 μg g-1 of patulin. SO2 was added to each sample in the amounts of 250 μg mL-1 and 50 μg mL-1. Untreated juice samples for each patulin concentration served as controls under the same experimental conditions. Patulin content was determined with high performance liquid chromatography. The best degradation was observed with 250 μg mL-1 of SO2 at 30 °C regardless of the patulin baseline concentration. Although treatment with SO2 and refrigeration did not fully remove patulin, it was highly efficient over twelve weeks of storage. Our results suggest that patulin levels can be reduced between 33 and 100 % at 30 °C and up to 100 % at 4 °C.

Open access

Jasna Bošnir, Dinko Puntarić, Zdenko Šmit, Maja Klarić, Matijana Grgić and Lana Kosanović

Organochlorine Pesticides in Freshwater Fish from the Zagreb Area

The aim of this study was to determine the level of organochlorine pesticides in freshwater fish from the Zagreb area, Croatia. The study included 215 freshwater fish samples from three sites: the Sava River, Lake Jarun, and five fishponds from the Zagreb surroundings. Organochlorine pesticides DDT and derivates, HCH, HCB, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor with epoxide, and methoxychlor were determined using the GC-ECD method. The determined amounts of organochlorine pesticides were within allowed concentration limits in all analysed fish samples. Median values ranged from below the detection limit of 0.01 μg kg-1 for dieldrin and metoxychlor to 2.00 μg kg-1 for DDT in the Cyprinidae fish family from the Sava River, Zagreb sampling site (group 1).

This study has confirmed pesticide persistence in the overall ecosystem in our country despite the ban of some thirty years ago, like in many other parts of the world.

Open access

Mira Zovko, Željka Vidaković-Cifrek, Želimira Cvetković, Jasna Bošnir and Sandra Šikić

Acrylamide is a monomer widely used as an intermediate in the production of organic chemicals, e.g. polyacrylamides (PAMs). Since PAMs are low cost chemicals with applications in various industries and waste- and drinking water treatment, a certain amount of non-polymerised acrylamide is expected to end up in waterways. PAMs are non-toxic but acrylamide induces neurotoxic effects in humans and genotoxic, reproductive, and carcinogenic effects in laboratory animals. In order to evaluate the effect of acrylamide on freshwater organisms, bioassays were conducted on four species: algae Desmodesmus subspicatus and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, duckweed Lemna minor and water flea Daphnia magna according to ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) standardised methods. This approach ensures the evaluation of acrylamide toxicity on organisms with different levels of organisation and the comparability of results, and it examines the value of using a battery of low-cost standardised bioassays in the monitoring of pollution and contamination of aquatic ecosystems. These results showed that EC50 values were lower for Desmodesmus subspicatus and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata than for Daphnia magna and Lemna minor, which suggests an increased sensitivity of algae to acrylamide. According to the toxic unit approach, the values estimated by the Lemna minor and Daphnia magna bioassays, classify acrylamide as slightly toxic (TU=0-1; Class 1). The results obtained from algal bioassays (Desmodesmus subspicatus and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata) revealed the toxic effect of acrylamide (TU=1-10; Class 2) on these organisms.

Open access

Željka Kuharić, Željko Jakopović, Iva Čanak, Jadranka Frece, Jasna Bošnir, Željka Pavlek, Martina Ivešić and Ksenija Markov

Abstract

In order to minimise human exposure to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) the levels of this highly carcinogenic mycotoxin in milk, heat-treated milk, and other dairy products have been limited to <0.05 μg kg-1. However, its removal from dairy products presents a challenge for dairy producers, as commercial additives change organoleptic properties, and filtration alone yields poor results. The aim of this study was to find a strain of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from milk or dairy products that most effectively binds AFM1 and to see whether heat treatment of the selected LAB affects the binding efficiency. We also wanted to investigate whether centrifugation can improve filtering of the obtained AFM1-LAB complexes from milk. To do that, we isolated and identified 10 native LAB species/strains, incubated their viable or heat-treated cells (108 CFU mL-1) in milk spiked with 0.5 μg L-1of AFM1 at 4 °C for 0, 2, 4, and 24 h, and quantified the amount of unbound AFM1 with HPLC. AFM1 binding efficiency ranged from 21 to 92 % for viable cells and from 26 to 94 % for the heattreated ones. Since both viable and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum KM showed the best results, we used it for the next step in AFM1 removal from milk. Heat treatment in combination with filtration and centrifugation yielded removal as high as 96 %.