Friday, 6 February 2015

Friday Fungus: Penicillium salamii - the sausage fungus

You all know dear readers that molds and fungi are essential in artisan food production. You may also know that one role for these chaps is in the curing of meat (one or two of you may never eat salami again though):

Generally, salami uses Penicillium nalgiovense--a white, edible mold--in the meat curing process. When the salami is cased, spiced, and ready to go, meat producers introduce the mold to seal in flavors and keep other potentially dangerous molds out.

Using DNA sequencing, the team identified two fungi living on the cured meats they analysed: Penicillium nalgiovense, the typical mold, and another mold that seemed to be related to Penicillium olsonii. But it wasn’t exactly the same.

 So now you know that the white outside layer on the salami you bought on that market stall yesterday is an edible mold - indeed it's several types of edible mold. Those researchers have found a little visitor to the sausage - a mold they didn't know about. And they've called it Penicillium salamii - sausage mold.

And why not!


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