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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Feb 10;121(3):262-7. Epub 2007 Nov 12.

Fungistatic activity of flaxseed in potato dextrose agar and a fresh noodle system.

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Department of Cereal and Food Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, United States.


Although numerous researchers have studied flaxseed as a food ingredient for its health benefits, flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) has never been considered as a food preservative. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of flaxseed flour (FF) concentration (0, 6, 9, 12, and 15% wt/wt), cultivar ('Omega' and brown) and source (four seed companies located in Minnesota and North Dakota) on flaxseed fungistatic activity. Fungal radial growth was used to assess the fungistatic activity of FF in both potato dextrose agar (PDA) medium and a fresh noodle system. Strains of Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium graminearum, and a Penicillium sp. isolated from molded noodles were used as the test microorganisms. Results showed that growth of F. graminearum was completely inhibited at all FF concentrations in PDA, and the inhibition of the other three test microorganisms increased with increasing FF concentrations. In the model noodle system, FF concentration at 9% or higher significantly reduced the mold count of fresh noodle during storage. In the inoculated noodle system, 6% FF addition was sufficient to significantly inhibit the growth of F. graminearum and A. flavus, whereas 9% FF concentrations showed fungistatic activity against P. chrysogenum and the Penicillium sp. isolate. Differences in the degree of mold inhibition were found among FFs obtained from different sources and cultivars. Results suggested that flaxseed possesses fungistatic activity and could be used as a multifunctional food ingredient.

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