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Int J Food Microbiol. 2001 Aug 15;68(1-2):125-33.

Growth of fungi and mycotoxin production on cheese under modified atmospheres.

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Instituto de Tecnologia de Alimentos, Campinas-SP, Brazil.


The use of modified atmospheres to prevent fungal growth and mycotoxin production in cheese was evaluated. Eight fungal species: Mucor plumbeus, Fusarium oxysporum, Byssochlamys fulva, B. nivea, Penicillium commune, P. roqueforti, Aspergillus flatus and Eurotium chevalieri were inoculated onto cheese and incubated under conditions of decreasing concentrations of O2 (5% to < 0.5%) and increasing concentrations of CO2 (20-40%). Fungal growth was measured by colony diameter and ergosterol content. All fungi examined grew in atmospheres containing 20% and 40% CO2 with 1% or 5% O2, but growth was reduced by 20-80%, depending on species, compared with growth in air. The formation of aflatoxins B1 and B2, roquerfortine C and cyclopiazonic acid was greatly decreased but not totally inhibited in these atmospheres. At 20% or 40% CO2 with < 0.5% O2, only B. nivea exhibited growth, which was very slow. Growth of F. oxysporum, B. fulca, P. commune and A. flavus showed good correlations between colony diameter and ergosterol content. However, for the other species correlations were inconsistent.

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