Monascus purpureus

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Red yeast rice: white rice fermented with Monascus pupureus
Monascus purpureus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetidae
Order: Incertae sedis
Family: Monascaceae
Genus: Monascus
Species: M. purpureus
Binomial name
Monascus purpureus
(Went, 1895)

Monascus purpureus (syn. M. albidus, M. anka, M. araneosus, M. major, M. rubiginosus, and M. vini; simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: 紅麴菌; pinyin: hóng qū jùn, lit. "red yeast") is a species of mold that is purplish-red in color. It is also known by the names ang-khak rice mold, corn silage mold, maize silage mold, and rice kernel discoloration.

This fungus is most important because of its use, in the form of red yeast rice, in the production of certain fermented foods in China. However, discoveries of cholesterol-lowering statins produced by the mold has prompted research into its possible medical uses. It produces a number of statins. The naturally occurring lovastatins and analogs are called monacolins K, L, J, and also occur in their hydroxyl acid forms along with dehydroxymonacolin and compactin (mevastatin). The prescription drug lovastatin, identical to monacolin K, is the principal statin produced by Monascus purpureus. Only the open-ring (hyroxyl acid) form is pharmacologically active.

The related fungi Monascus ruber and Monascus pilosus are also used in industrial applications.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Panda BP, Javed S, Ali M (2010). "Production of Angkak Through Co-Culture of Monascus Purpureus and MONASCUS RUBER.". Braz J Microbiol 41 (3): 757–64. doi:10.1590/S1517-83822010000300028. PMC PMC3768636 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 24031553. 

Bibhu Prasad Panda, Saleem Javed, Mohd. Ali (2010) Optimization of fermentation parameters for higher lovastatin production in red mold rice through co-culture of Monascus purpureus and Monascus ruber. Food and Bioprocess Technology,Vol. 3, no.3, 373-378 [1]