Virus detection in food requires appropriate elution and concentration techniques which need to be adapted for different food matrices. ISO/TS-15216-1:2017 and ISO/TS-15216-2:2019 describe standard methods for hepatitis A virus (HAV) research in some food only. Milk-based products containing one or more types of fruit are not covered by ISO procedures, even though they can be contaminated by fruit added to these products or by the food handlers. The aim of this work was to identify an efficient method for the detection of HAV in milk-based products. Four methods were tested to recover HAV from artificially contaminated milk, yoghurt and ice cream containing soft fruits. Results showed that the efficiency of the tested methods depends on the analyzed matrix. In milk we obtained a mean recovery from 13.4% to 1.9%; method based on high speed centrifuge gave the best values. The average recovery in yoghurt was between 3.3% and 114.4%, the latter value achieved by method with beef extract at 3% as eluent. Finally, two methods gave the best results in ice cream with similar recoveries: 29.1% and 27.7% respectively. The first method used glycine as eluent while the other one was based on high speed centrifugation. The ISO method has never proved to be the most efficient in the matrices studied. Therefore, based on the results obtained, a complete rethinking of the ISO method may be necessary to improve its recovery for some products such as milk, while only small changes would be sufficient for other products, such as yoghurt and ice cream.
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