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Open access

Domagoj Čvek, Ksenija Markov, Jadranka Frece, Tibela Dragičević, Matea Majica and Frane Delaš

Growth Inhibition of Aspergillus Ochraceus ZMPBF 318 and Penicillium Expansum ZMPBF 565 by Four Essential Oils

Fungi produce a large variety of extracellular proteins, organic acids, and other metabolites and can adapt to several environmental conditions. Mycotoxin-producing moulds of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium are common food contaminants. One of the natural ways to protect food from mould contamination is to use essential oils. In this study, we evaluated the effect of essential oils of cinnamon, lavender, rosemary, and sage at 1 % (v/v) concentration in yeast media inoculated with spores (final concentration 106 mL-1 media) of Aspergillus ochraceus ZMPBF 318 and Penicillium expansum ZMPBF 565, alone or in combination, on fungal biomass. Cinnamon showed the best inhibitory effect (100 %). Lavender oil best inhibited the growth of Aspergillus ochraceus (nearly 100 %), and was less successful with Penicillium expansum (having dropped to 57 % on day 28). With cultivation time the inhibitory effect of sage and rosemary oil grew for Aspergillus ochraceus and dropped for Penicillium expansum.

These results suggest that fungi can be controlled with essential oils, especially with cinnamon oil.

Open access

Darja Sokolić-Mihalak, Jadranka Frece, Anita Slavica, Frane Delaš, Hrvoje Pavlović and Ksenija Markov


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of the essential oil of Thymus serpyllum L. and of its components thymol and total phenols (total phenolic content, TPC) extracted from the plant on the growth and mycotoxin production of Aspergillus ochraceus, A. carbonarius, and A. niger. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) determined for the essential oil and thymol, and selected concentration of the TPC extract inhibited fungal growth and ochratoxin A biosynthesis by more than 60 %, depending on the conditions and duration of incubation with the fungi. Essential oil showed the strongest inhibitory effect which may have been related to the synergistic or cumulative effects of its components

Open access

Tibela Dragičević, Marijana Hren, Margareta Gmajnić, Sanja Pelko, Dzoko Kungulovski, Ivan Kungulovski, Domagoj Čvek, Jadranka Frece, Ksenija Markov and Frane Delaš

Biodegradation of Olive Mill Wastewater by Trichosporon Cutaneum and Geotrichum Candidum

Olive oil production generates large volumes of wastewater. These wastewaters are characterised by high chemical oxygen demand (COD), high content of microbial growth-inhibiting compounds such as phenolic compounds and tannins, and dark colour. The aim of this study was to investigate biodegradation of olive mill wastewater (OMW) by yeasts Trichosporon cutaneum and Geotrichum candidum. The yeast Trichosporon cutaneum was used because it has a high potential to biodegrade phenolic compounds and a wide range of toxic compounds. The yeast Geotrichum candidum was used to see how successful it is in biodegrading compounds that give the dark colour to the wastewater. Under aerobic conditions, Trichosporon cutaneum removed 88 % of COD and 64 % of phenolic compounds, while the dark colour remained. Geotrichum candidum grown in static conditions reduced COD and colour further by 77 % and 47 %, respectively. This investigation has shown that Trichosporon cutaneum under aerobic conditions and Geotrichum candidum under facultative anaerobic conditions could be used successfully in a two-step biodegradation process. Further investigation of OMW treatment by selected yeasts should contribute to better understanding of biodegradation and decolourisation and should include ecotoxicological evaluation of the treated OMW.

Open access

Željka Kuharić, Željko Jakopović, Iva Čanak, Jadranka Frece, Jasna Bošnir, Željka Pavlek, Martina Ivešić and Ksenija Markov


In order to minimise human exposure to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) the levels of this highly carcinogenic mycotoxin in milk, heat-treated milk, and other dairy products have been limited to <0.05 μg kg-1. However, its removal from dairy products presents a challenge for dairy producers, as commercial additives change organoleptic properties, and filtration alone yields poor results. The aim of this study was to find a strain of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from milk or dairy products that most effectively binds AFM1 and to see whether heat treatment of the selected LAB affects the binding efficiency. We also wanted to investigate whether centrifugation can improve filtering of the obtained AFM1-LAB complexes from milk. To do that, we isolated and identified 10 native LAB species/strains, incubated their viable or heat-treated cells (108 CFU mL-1) in milk spiked with 0.5 μg L-1of AFM1 at 4 °C for 0, 2, 4, and 24 h, and quantified the amount of unbound AFM1 with HPLC. AFM1 binding efficiency ranged from 21 to 92 % for viable cells and from 26 to 94 % for the heattreated ones. Since both viable and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum KM showed the best results, we used it for the next step in AFM1 removal from milk. Heat treatment in combination with filtration and centrifugation yielded removal as high as 96 %.

Open access

Martina Bevardi, Jadranka Frece, Dragana Mesarek, Jasna Bošnir, Jasna Mrvčić, Frane Delaš and Ksenija Markov

Fungicides are the most common agents used in postharvest treatment of fruit and are the most effective against blue mould, primarily caused by Penicillium expansum. Alternatively, blue mould can be treated with antagonistic microorganisms naturally occurring on fruit, such as the bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans. The aim of this study was to establish the antifungal potential of the G. oxydans 1J strain isolated from apple surface against Penicillium expansum in culture and apple juice and to compare it with the efficiency of a reference strain G. oxydans ATCC 621H. The highest antifungal activity of G. oxydans 1J was observed between days 3 and 9 with no colony growth, while on day 12, P. expansum colony diameter was reduced to 42.3 % of the control diameter. Although G. oxydans 1J did not fully inhibit mould growth, it showed a high level of efficiency and completely prevented patulin accumulation in apple juice.