Effect of dry-sausage starter culture and endogenous yeasts on Aspergillus westerdijkiae and Penicillium nordicum growth and OTA production uri icon


  • Processed meat products frequently suffer from fungal and mycotoxin contamination, mostly ochratoxin A (OTA). Penicillium nordicum is considered responsible for this contamination, but Aspergillus westerdijkiae has recently been associated with high levels of OTA in meat products. Several biocontrol agents have been tested against P. nordicum growth and OTA production in meat products, but A. westerdijkiae has not been considered. The aim of this work was to evaluate in vitro the effect of a commercial starter culture used in sausage fermentation and of sausage-native yeasts on OTA production by A. westerdijkiae, as compared with the highly studied P. nordicum, in meat-based culture media. Four representative yeasts isolated from dry-cured sausage and a commercial starter culture were co-inoculated with both fungi in different meat-based media, under varying conditions. Fungal growth was determined by measuring colony diameter, and OTA production was quantified by HPLC-FLD. A. westerdijkiae was significantly stimulated to produce OTA under all tested conditions, and, in ham, OTA production by P. nordicum was stimulated by co-culture with the starter culture. In conclusion, endogenous or added microorganisms enrolled in fermentation or in biocontrol in meat products seem to exert varying responses on different ochratoxigenic fungi, thus leading to unforeseen safety problems.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018