The purpose of this study was to investigated the patulin contamination of apple juices consumed by the Turkish population. Patulin was detected using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a UV detector at 280 nm, and the identification of patulin was further confirmed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Using HPLC, the recoveries were 79.9 +/- 6.7% and 83.7 +/- 4.6%, and the coefficients of variation were 8.4 and 5.5% for apple juices spiked with the known amounts of patulin (60 and 120 mug/liter, respectively). The minimum patulin level detected was 5 ng in a standard solution and 5 mug/liter in apple juices. The TLC method was used only to confirm patulin levels higher than 20 mug/liter (100 ng/spot) in apple juices. The total number of samples was 45. Patulin was present in detectable levels in 60% of apple juices at concentrations ranging from 19.1 to 732.8 mug/liter. Forty-four percent of the apple juice samples had patulin contamination levels higher than 50 mug/liter, which is the allowable upper limit in Turkey.