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Fungi and toxins in Minas artisanal cheese from Serra da Canastra

Grant number: 22/10378-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 07, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Marta Hiromi Taniwaki
Grantee:Caio Vinicius Pereira Marcelão
Host Institution: Instituto de Tecnologia de Alimentos (ITAL). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/50349-0 - Plan of institutional development in research of the Institute of Food Technology - ITAL (PDIp), AP.PDIP


Brazil is the fourth largest cheese producer in the world, with the state of Minas Gerais, where Serra da Canastra is located, being one of the main regions of artisanal cheese production in the country. Canastra cheese is manufactured without the heat treatment of the milk, which makes it a product prone to contamination by microorganisms, including fungi. Most studies have focused on the characterization of the artisanal cheese' microbiota with the main effort on investigating bacteria; studies on mycobiota have mostly been neglected. Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. are genera of great importance in food, harboring spoilage and potentially toxigenic species. There are some reports on the occurrence of these genera in artisanal cheeses; however, a deeper investigation characterizing the Canastra cheese biodiversity is still needed. Furthermore, there are few studies that have investigated the occurrence of mycotoxins in these types of cheeses, together with their mycobiota. Therefore, the objectives of the present project are to: 1) identify the Canastra cheese mycobiota during maturation, storage and marketing, besides the markets in São Paulo city; 2) characterize the Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. biodiversity and prospect the occurrence of toxigenic species in Canastra cheeses; 3) investigate the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 in Canastra cheese samples and in milk used as raw material and ochratoxin A in cheese. (AU)

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