One of the market sectors that Concentrol places the most emphasis on is cheese. The Food Processing Aids Division works to create the best solutions to improve food finishes.

In order to guarantee that our coatings offer good antifungal protection, Concentrol has developed a new methodology to determine how effective they are against the Penicillium discolor fungus, when they contain pimaricin, sorbates and propionates. These preservatives are the only preservatives allowed for surface treatment in aged cheese according to Regulation (EU) no. 1333/2008.

With this new Concentrol methodology, the efficacy of the antifungal activity of our coatings can be determined, with the addition of different authorized preservatives against the Penicillium Discolor fungus, which is the one most commonly found in cheese.

The study is carried out by means of a quantitative microbiological analysis on cheese, that is, by counting the colony-forming units of the Penicillium discolor fungus that appear in the cheese samples once the fungus is planted and our coating is applied. This study helps us evaluate the antifungal efficacy that our coatings can have with the addition of different concentrations of preservatives such as sorbates, pimaricin and propionates against this fungus.

Tables 1,2,3 show the evolution of the growth of the Penicillium discolor fungus in cheese samples in which our coating is applied with different concentrations of the studied preservatives. Specifically, the evolution of the growth of the fungus is shown from its appearance, on day 6, until day 25 after its sowing. The concentrations of sorbates and propionates tested in this study are the same.

Table 1 – Sorbates


Table 2 – Pimaricin


Table 3 – Propionates


Tables 1 and 2 show that as the sorbate and pimaricin concentration of the coating increases, the appearance of fungus in the cheese samples is delayed and thus the antifungal efficacy of the coating improves. This behavior of the fungus is not observed when propionates are used as a preservative (table 3).

Furthermore, if table 1 and 3 are compared, it can be seen that with the same preservative concentration, the antifungal efficacy of a coating containing sorbates is greater compared to a coating with propionates.