This study describes a capillary zone electrophoretic method for the determination of patulin. An optimum run buffer was found to be 25 mM of sodium tetraborate and 10% acetonitrile (v/v) at pH 10. Optimum conditions were determined to be: an applied voltage of 25 kV (normal polarity), temperature of 25 degrees C and injection time of 10 s at 50 mbar; the signals of patulin and phenobarbital as internal standard were detected at 276 nm. The method was highly reproducible, with relative standard deviations of 0.02-0.85 for intra-day and 0.04-0.42 for inter-day for standard patulin. Acceptable linearity [y = 0.0020C (mu g/L) - 0.0680 (r = 0.9999)] was obtained over a concentration range of 0.25 to 4.99 mu g/mL of patulin. The limits of detection and quantification were calculated to be 5.9 x 10(-3) and 1.79 x 10(-2) mu g/mL, respectively. Recovery was 68.0%. The proposed method was applied to 21 apple juice samples purchased from different Turkish markets, and two were found to contain higher than the limits of the European Union Directive for patulin.