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J Appl Microbiol. 1997 Jul;83(1):111-9.

Antimicrobial activity of food-related Penicillium sp. against pathogenic bacteria in laboratory media and a cheese model system.

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Department of Dairy and Food Science, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


Food-related Penicillium species (n = 34) and Geotrichum candidum (n = 11) grown on Czapek Dox and brie agar were tested for their ability to suppress growth of pathogenic bacteria. Ten out of 13 P. camemberti showed antagonistic activity while the other species did not interact significantly with the bacterial growth. The order of inhibition was: Gram-negative bacteria and Bacillus cereus > Listeria monocytogenes, Lactococcus sp. > Micrococcus sp. whereas Lactobacillus sp., Staphylococcus aureus and some Micrococcus sp. were unaffected. When Salmonella typhimurium was inoculated together with P. camemberti P25 in brie agar, bacterial growth was inhibited during the first 6 d of incubation whereafter growth started. The inhibition of L. monocytogenes was similar but less pronounced. The antimicrobial activity produced by P. camemberti P25 and L84 was enhanced with increasing amount of sucrose in the medium. The activity was increased at low pH and destroyed at pH above 8. It was detectable at 15 degrees C but not at 37 degrees C indicating that volatile metabolites might be involved. No significant accumulation of organic acids and no secondary metabolites such as mycotoxins were detected. HSGC-MS analysis indicated that acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, 3-methylbutanal and 1-octen-3-ol were produced by P. camemberti during the period when inhibitory activity was observed. Pure acetaldehyde and benzaldehyde were shown to be inhibitory to L. monocytogenes and Salm. typhimurium when grown at 15 degrees C and pH 5.5 and 7.0.

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