Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light barrier for fungal toxins - Researchers at the Max Rubner-Institut inhibit the production of toxins

07.05.2010
Whether oranges, grapes or strawberries – they are all liable to go mouldy after only a short period in storage. Moulds and their spores are ubiquitous, with virtually no protection possible.

Researchers at the Max Rubner-Institut have developed a process that may not completely kill the moulds, but effectively inhibits their growth: certain wavelengths of visible light disrupt the rhythm of life of many forms of mildew so successfully that they stop producing fungal toxins and in the best-case scenario, stop growing altogether.

Ochratoxins are the toxins of a large group of mildews, which also includes various Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Like most living organisms these moulds have a biological clock that regulates growth and metabolism. At the beginning of the project, Prof. Rolf Geisen, a researcher at the Max Rubner-Institut, suspected that “if we can manage to change the rhythm of this clock, then we can stop the production of toxins.”

Blue light with a wavelength of 450 nanometres has proven to be a particularly effective inhibitor. “We don’t use harmful UV radiation. The blue light is sufficient to destroy 80 per cent of the mould spores,” says Dr. Markus Schmidt-Heydt, a researcher in Prof. Geisen’s team. On the other hand, researchers have also discovered that yellow and green light promotes the growth of the moulds. Moulds are therefore certainly not ‘blind’. They have light receptors for different wavelengths. Unfortunately, however, the varieties of mould have different levels of sensitivity. Typical cereal moulds like the Fusaria react differently to being illuminated, producing higher levels of light protection pigments like carotin, for instance.

This discovery is being intensively tested for its practical application in the context of the EU project “Novel strategies for worldwide reduction of mycotoxins in foods and feed chain” (MycoRed). If the illumination strategy meets its promise in the practical testing stage then this would be a huge step forward in the battle against the spoilage of food in Germany and throughout the world.

Dr. Iris Lehmann | idw
Further information:
http://www.mri.bund.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>