The Use of the Mould Rhizopus oligosporus in Food Production

Boris Kovač and Peter Raspor1

»Mlinotest« d.d. Food Industry, Tovarniška 14, Ajdovščina 5270, Slovenia

Chair of Biotechnology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:

Received September 30, 1996 

Accepted December 18, 1996

Key words:

fermented food, Rhizopus oligosporus, tempeh


Filamentous fungi are used in food production for protecting the surface of article against spoilage, as well as for the improvement of taste and the biological or nutritional value. A variety of moulds are used in the preparation of fermented foods. However, Rhizopus oligosporus has been one of the most widely used and accepted moulds in fermentation of vegetal substrates. The fermented product made from soaked and cooked soybeans or cereal grains inoculated with a mould is called the tempeh. In the bioprocess, the substrate is bound together into a cake by dense white mycelium. An important function of mould in the fermentation process is the synthesis of enzymes that hydrolyse the components and contribute to the development of a desirable texture, flavour, and aroma of the product. Fermentation also eliminates antinutritional constituents, and the nutritional quality of the fermented product is thus improved. Tempeh is an attractive product from sensory, health and economical points of view.

*Corresponding author:  Presented at the 1st Slovenian Congress of Food and Nutrition with International Participation, Bled, April 21-25_, 1996. Book of Abstracts, P. 102.