Inactivation of Possible Fungal Food Contaminants by Photosensitization

Živilė Lukšienė1*, Dalia Pečiulytė2, Sigita Jurkoniene2 and Romualdas Puras1

Institute of Material Science and Applied Research, Sauėtekio 9, LT-10223, Vilnius, Lithuania 2Institute of Botany, Žaliųjų Ežerų 49, LT-08406 Vilnius, Lithuania

Article history:

Received September 20, 2004
Accepted May 5, 2005

Key words:

photosensitization, inactivation of microfungi, food processing and safety


Photosensitization is based on the interaction of two nontoxic, nonmutagenic and noncarcinogenic agents – photosensitizer, accumulated in the microorganism, and visible light. This interaction in the presence of oxygen induces radical-based citotoxic events. The study has been carried out to define a new tool to improve microbial food safety by photosensitization for inactivation of several fungi, which are harmful for food industry and sometimes resistant to other treatments. The obtained data indicate that several microfungi such as Alternaria alternata, Fusarium avenaceum, Acremonium strictum and Rhizopus oryzae might be effectively inactivated by this new technology. Clear correlation was observed between the efficiency of inhibition of germination and the amount of photosensitizer, accumulated by the fungus.

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