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Yeasts, moulds and sorbate From July 2011 newsletter

Yeasts, moulds and sorbate

Foods contaminated by fungi look unacceptable, invariably have an alteration in taste and may contain mycotoxins. As a consequence, large quantities of food are discarded due to spoilage by fungi. Preventing this wastage is important – and a member-funded research project has been looking at various characteristics of fungi. The third report from this project has addressed resistance to preservatives.

Many mould species can grow in the presence of preservatives such as sorbate, benzoate and propionate, with the number of preservative resistant moulds reported to be on the increase. To evaluate this, a number of strains were tested for their resistance to sorbate. Differences were seen between the strains in their abilities to grow in the presence of this preservative, and in their ability to degrade sorbic acid and produce the tainting compound 1, 3–pentadiene. Of the strains tested, Penicillium roqueforti was the most active in producing 1, 3–pentadiene from sorbic acid.

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Contact: Phil Voysey
+44(0)1386 842069