Concentrol analyzes its solutions in the laboratory to find new avenues of research that lead to new products or applications that can meet customer needs. The Food Processing Aids Division tests and develops solutions aimed at improving the finishing of foods.

One of the foods that benefit from Concentrol solutions are cheeses. Specifically, the cheese coatings developed at Concentrol offer antifungal efficacy against the Penicillium discolor fungus, delaying its appearance in food.

Concentrol has carried out a study to determine if in the coatings containing the preservatives pimaricin and sorbic acid, there is a synergy of their antifungal effectiveness against the Penicillium discolor fungus. That is, if an increase in the antifungal effectiveness of our coatings against this fungus is observed when pimaricin and sorbic acid act together.

To carry out this study, the same methodology was followed as in the previous study using a quantitative microbiological analysis on cheese. With this analysis, the colony-forming units of the Penicillium discolor fungus are counted, which appear in the cheese samples once the fungus has been seeded and our coating has been applied.

Following, tables 1, 2 and 3 are presented, which show the evolution of the growth of the fungus Penicillium discolor in the cheese samples, in which the Concentrol coating has been applied with various combinations and concentrations of the two preservatives. Specifically, the evolution of the growth of the fungus is shown from its appearance, on day 5, to day 14 after its sowing.

Table 1. Evolution of the growth of the Penicillium discolor fungus on day 5.

 Table 2. Evolution of the growth of the Penicillium discolor fungus on day 8.

 Table 3. Evolution of the growth of the Penicillium discolor fungus on day 14.

First of all, in tables 1 and 2, a delay in the appearance of the fungus is observed in those samples where a coating containing a higher percentage of sorbic acid and pimaricin is applied.

Table 3 shows us that, by increasing the percentage of sorbic acid in a coating with the same concentration of pimaricin, there is less growth of the fungus. The same effect is observed when the amount of pimaricin is increased in a coating containing a certain concentration of sorbic acid. Considering this fact, we can say that there is a certain synergy between the two preservatives against the fungus Penicillium discolor.

This new methodology that Concentrol has created to determine the effectiveness of the antifungal activity of preservative coatings on cheese has great international relevance, and has attracted a lot of interest in the cheese industry. For this reason, we are studying the possibility of incorporating this method in subsequent studies with other fungi that have a previous characterization.