Authors:H.M. Elhariry, G.M. Khiralla, Y. Gherbawy and H. Abd ElRahman
Alternaria species produce several mycotoxins that are of particular health concern. The natural occurrence of three Alternaria toxins; alternariol (AOH), alternariol methyl ether (AME), and tenuazonic acid (TA) in pomegranate fruit was considered. A. alternata and A. tenuissima were identified by analysis of partial sequence of ITS-region. All studied strains produced high quantities of AOH in vitro on rice. A. tenuissima produces high quantities of AME and TA compared with A. alternata. In rotten tissues AME was the highest determined toxin with frequency percentage of 95.6%, followed by AOH and TA. All toxins were detected in the healthy tissues surrounding the infected tissues but at low levels. No visible changes were noted in Alternaria toxins after pasteurization of pomegranate juice, but they appeared after clarification. In conclusion, pasteurization and/or clarification are not sufficient to reduce Alternaria toxins in juice. The removal of the rotten parts does not ensure excluding Alternaria toxins.