Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 56, Issue 7, pp 3364–3373 | Cite as

Comparison of lovastatin, citrinin and pigment production of different Monascus purpureus strains grown on rice and millet

  • Ajda Marič
  • Matej Skočaj
  • Matevž Likar
  • Kristina Sepčić
  • Irena Kralj Cigić
  • Maja Grundner
  • Andrej GregoriEmail author
Original Article


Six Monascus purpureus (red mould) strains were cultivated on brown rice and millet as substrates. They underwent strain selection for high lovastatin and pigment production, and low citrinin mycotoxin production, with particular reference to potential for millet as substrate. For most of these strains, substrate dry matter loss was 54–60% on rice and 46–48% on millet, although the ‘MOPU GS1’ strain showed 18% and 17% dry matter loss, respectively. ‘MOPU GS1’ was also the only strain with detectable levels of lovastatin (1.3 and 1.6 mg lovastatin/g substrate dry weight [dw], respectively) and citrinin under the limit of detection. In the other strains, citrinin varied from 0.3 to 18.2 mg/g substrate dw. Among the six strains, ‘EBY3’ provided high pigment production when grown on rice, although it produced 1.1 mg citrinin/g substrate dw. Millet showed good potential as an alternative substrate to rice, due to higher lovastatin and lower citrinin production; however, rice was the better substrate for production of M. purpureus pigments.


Monascus purpureus Lovastatin Citrinin Pigment Rice Millet 



The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Erik Bird for support during the cultivation and experimental work, NRRL Agricultural Research Service Culture Collection for strain NRRL 1596, and the World Federation of Scientists for financial support (Grant SZF—A. Marič, 01/2017). The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Christopher Berrie for critical reading and appraisal of the manuscript, and the Slovenian Research Agency for financial support (Grants P1-0207, P1-0212 and P1-0153).

Supplementary material

13197_2019_3820_MOESM1_ESM.docx (412 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 412 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical TechnologyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.MycoMedica d.o.oKranjska GoraSlovenia

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