Category Archives: fungi

Research – Insights into the Bacterial Diversity and Detection of Opportunistic Pathogens in Mexican Chili Powder


Chili powder is the most frequently consumed spice in Mexican diets. Thus, the dissemination of microorganisms associated with chili powder derived from Capsicum annuum L. is significant during microbial quality analysis, with special attention on detection of potential pathogens. The results presented here describe the initial characterization of bacterial community structure in commercial chili powder samples. Our results demonstrate that, within the domain Bacteria, the most abundant family was Bacillaceae, with a relative abundance of 99% in 71.4% of chili powder samples, while 28.6% of samples showed an average relative abundance of 60% for the Enterobacteriaceae family. Bacterial load for aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) ranged from 104 to 106 cfu/g, while for sporulated mesophilic bacteria (SMB), the count ranged from 102 to 105 cfu/g. Bacillus cereus sensu lato (s.l.) was observed at ca. ˂600 cfu/g, while the count for Enterobacteriaceae ranged from 103 to 106 cfu/g, Escherichia coli and Salmonella were not detected. Fungal and yeast counts ranged from 102 to 105 cfu/g. Further analysis of the opportunistic pathogens isolated, such as B. cereus s.l. and Kosakonia cowanii, using antibiotic-resistance profiles and toxinogenic characteristics, revealed the presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) in these organisms. These results extend our knowledge of bacterial diversity and the presence of opportunistic pathogens associated with Mexican chili powder and highlight the potential health risks posed by its use through the spread of antibiotic-resistance and the production of various toxins. Our findings may be useful in developing procedures for microbial control during chili powder production. View Full-Text

Research – Antifungal Preservation of Food by Lactic Acid Bacteria



Image CDC

Fungal growth and consequent mycotoxin release in food and feed threatens human health, which might even, in acute cases, lead to death. Control and prevention of foodborne poisoning is a major task of public health that will be faced in the 21st century. Nowadays, consumers increasingly demand healthier and more natural food with minimal use of chemical preservatives, whose negative effects on human health are well known. Biopreservation is among the safest and most reliable methods for inhibiting fungi in food. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are of great interest as biological additives in food owing to their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) classification and probiotic properties. LAB produce bioactive compounds such as reuterin, cyclic peptides, fatty acids, etc., with antifungal properties. This review highlights the great potential of LAB as biopreservatives by summarizing various reported antifungal activities/metabolites of LAB against fungal growth into foods. In the end, it provides profound insight into the possibilities and different factors to be considered in the application of LAB in different foods as well as enhancing their efficiency in biodetoxification and biopreservative activities. View Full-Text

RASFF Alert- Fungal Growth – SuperValu Still Lemon & Lime Flavoured Spring Water


Fungal Growth in and Off Taste from SuperValu Still Lemon & Lime Flavoured Spring Water from Ireland in Ireland and Belgium

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxins – Fumonsins – Maize Flour


Fumonisins in maize flour from Portugal in Luxembourg

Research – New infrared heat treatment approaches to dry and combat fungal contamination of shelled corn

Wiley Online

Commercial application of infrared (IR) heat has been hampered by a lack of readily available data adaptable to high‐throughput (HT) drying requirements in the grain processing industry. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a continuous flow IR heating system to simultaneously dry and decontaminate corn over various drying bed thicknesses (1.5, 2.7, and 4.5 cm). Additionally, impacts of intermediate tempering treatment and variation of IR emitter angle (zero [E‐0] and 30 [E‐30] degrees) on drying and decontamination of the corn were determined. Although IR heating was able to dry and decontaminate corn at the initial moisture content (MC) of ≈21% wet basis (w.b.), moisture removal was most effective at the least bed thickness (1.5 cm). At 1.5 cm bed thickness, a safe storage MC (<14%) was achieved after 15 min of IR heating. At all the bed thicknesses, IR heating with intermediate tempering resulted in higher fungal inactivation than IR heating without tempering. Infrared heating of corn at 1.5 cm bed thickness plus tempering resulted in a total fungal count (TFC) reduction of 3.1 and 4.6 log CFU/g using IR emitters at E‐30 and E‐0° angles, respectively. However, increasing the bed thickness to 2.7 cm resulted in a TFC reduction of 4.8 and 4.6 log CFU/g using E‐30 and E‐0, respectively. Infrared heating using E‐0, compared to using E‐30, accelerated TFC reduction when corn samples were dried at 1.5 cm bed thickness. These results could help guide the design of HT corn drying and decontamination systems.

Research -Efficient Reduction of Food Related Mould Spores on Surfaces by Hydrogen Peroxide Mist


CDC Mould

The aim of the study was to evaluate the fungicidal effect of a H2O2 mist generating system for disinfection of spores of six food-related moulds (Alternaria alternataAspergillus flavusGeotrichum candidumMucor plumbeusPaecilomyces variotii, and Penicillium solitum) dried on stainless steel. Exposure to H2O2 mist for 2 or 4 h lead to >3 log reduction in mould spores in the majority of the tests. The presence of the soils 2% skim milk or 3% BSA did not significantly alter the fungicidal effect, while the presence of raw meat juice had an adverse fungicidal effect against Penicillium and Mucor in two out of three tests. Fungicidal suspension tests with liquid H2O2 confirmed the effectiveness of H2O2 on reducing the mould spores. Both the surface test and the suspension test indicated that P. variotii is more resistant to H2O2 compared to the other moulds tested. The study shows the efficiency of H2O2 mist on reducing food-related mould spores on surfaces. View Full-Text

UK – Diageo Great Britain recalls Guinness Draught 0.0% because of possible presence of mould


Diageo Great Britain has taken the precautionary step of recalling Guinness Draught 0.0%, (non-alcoholic), due to the possible presence of mould in the products.

Product details

Guinness Draught 0.0%
Pack size 440ml Can 6×4 pk
Best before 09 August 2021, 17 August 2021, 24 August 2021

Risk statement

This product may contain mould. Mould does not usually cause food poisoning, however, the FSA would advise against consuming visibly mouldy foods because the presence of mould might make the food unsafe.

Action taken by the company

Diageo Great Britain is recalling the above product. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling this product. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product. Please see the attached notice.

Our advice to consumers

If you have bought the above product do not consume it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought, for a full refund. Alternatively, contact the Diageo consumer careline on 0345 601 4558 or

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin – Fumonsins – Corn Flour


RASFF – fumonisins (3048 µg/kg – ppb) in corn flour from Germany in Belgium

Research – Bacteria killed by new light-activated coating

Science Daily

To stop the spread of disease, it could be used to coat phone screens and keyboards, as well as the inside of catheters and breathing tubes, which are a major source of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

The most well known HCAIs are caused by Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). They commonly occur during in-patient medical or surgical treatment, or from visiting a healthcare setting and pose a serious health threat, making them a key priority for the NHS to address*.

The research, published today in Nature Communications, is the first to show a light activated antimicrobial coating successfully killing bacteria in low intensity, ambient light (300 Lux), such as that found in wards and waiting rooms. Previously, similar coatings needed intense light (3,000 Lux), like that found in operating theatres, to activate their killing properties.

The new bactericidal coating is made of tiny clusters of chemically modified gold embedded in a polymer with crystal violet — a dye with antibacterial and antifungal properties.


UK – Class 2 Medicines Recall: Paracetamol 500mg Tablets, 1 x 1000 PL 04077/0001 (MDR 13-04/19) – Fungal Contamination

M & A Pharmachem is recalling the above batches because a small number of pots from each batch have been found to contain discoloured tablets due to fungal contamination.

The fungi have been identified as Penicillium citrinium and Penicillium brevicompactum. It is unlikely that any affected tablets will have got to patient level as the discolouration is noticeable on opening affected packs.