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Upendra R. S*, Pratima Khandelwal, Z. R. Amiri, Aparna. S4, Archana. C
and Ashwathi.M


Traditional oriental fermented foods namely soy sauce, miso, vinegar,
red rice vinegar, pickled tofu and Ang-kak were becoming increasingly
popular in different parts of India and shall be used for isolation of
hypolipidemic agent, lovastatin producing representative fungi.
Existing food grade (GRAS) fungi, Monascus sp were known to
produce lovastatin through SSF. Further exploration of food grade
fungi from indigenous and traditional oriental fermented food products
shall augment such sources and lead to better and safe food product
development. Such a strategy shall give benefits to the elderly and the
concept of preventive health care shall take envisaged shape. With this
objective the present investigation focus on isolation and
microbiological characterization of the lovastatin producing GRAS
filamentous fungi from various traditional oriental fermented food samples obtained from
India and China. Initially food grade fungal cultures were isolated by serial dilution
technique and morphological characteristic of the isolated fungal cultures was studied on
Potato dextrose agar (PDA) medium. Microscopic confirmation of isolated fungal cultures
were performed using light microscopy. Further, microbiologically characterized fungal
cultures were tested on a novel substrate combination of rice and barley using Solid state
fermentation (SSF) process for the production of lovastatin. At the end of the SSF process the presence of lovastatin in the prepared samples from the end product was analysed qualitatively using Thin Layer Chromatography and ATR-FTIR. The yield of lovastatin was quantified using UV spectroscopic analysis at 238 nm using pure drug lovastatin as a standard (Biocon, India). Present study isolated one Monascus purpureus and three Monascus ruber fungal cultures and concluded that all the four characterized fungal cultures were found to be positive for lovastatin production.

Keywords: Monascus Species, Traditional oriental fermented foods, Lovastatin, Solid state fermentation and ATR-FTIR.

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