PRESENCE OF FUNGAL CONTAMINATION IN THE PRODUCTION CHAIN OF FRESH FILLED PASTA, WITH PARTICULAR REGARD TO THE PENICILLIUM GENUS
AbstractA shelf-life study was carried out on fresh filled pasta in order to evaluate the presence of fungal contamination in the production process (environment, raw materials and finished products), with particular regard to the Penicillium genus. Analyses were conducted on three types of products, while air sampling was carried out in shaping processes and packaging areas. After isolation of molds, phenotypic identification of Penicillium genus and genotyping confirmation were carried out. As for the isolated strains, the species identified are those expected from this type of matrix: 40.7% P. viridicatum, 14.8% P. griseofulvum, 11.1% P. chrysogenum, 7.4% for P. citrinum, P. nalgiovense and P. crustosum and finally 3.7% for each of the three remaining species (P. roqueforti, P. formosanum, P. atramentosum). Results showed environmental contamination, particularly at the end of the work day. In fact, 59% of identified Penicillia originated from air samples, while only 10% from foods. Moreover, even if fungal contamination was observed at all considered times, level of contamination were generally low and never resulted in spoilage of the product as no macroscopically visible colonies were observed. It is therefore clear that pasteurization and modified atmosphere packaging are able to control the growth of potentially present fungal contamination.
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Copyright (c) 2011 S. Lomonaco, M. A. Grassi, L. Vallone, V. Pistone, T. Civera
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