Ochratoxin degradation and adsorption caused by astaxanthin-producing yeasts

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Ochratoxin degrading and adsorbing activities of Phaffia rhodozyma and Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous isolates were tested. P. rhodozyma CBS 5905 degraded more than 90% of ochratoxin A (OTA) in 15 days at 20 °C. The data presented indicate that P. rhodozyma is able to convert OTA to ochratoxin α, and this conversion is possibly mediated by an enzyme related to carboxypeptidases. Chelating agents like EDTA and 1,10-phenanthroline inhibited OTA degradation caused by P. rhodozyma indicating that the carboxypeptidase is a metalloprotease, similarly to carboxypeptidase A. The temperature optimum of this enzyme was found to be above 30 °C, which is much higher than the temperature optimum for growth of P. rhodozyma cells, which is around 20 °C. The enzyme responsible for ochratoxin degradation was found to be cell-bound. Besides, both viable and heat-treated (dead) P. rhodozyma cells were also able to adsorb significant amounts (up to 250 ng ml-1) of OTA. Heat treatment enhanced OTA adsorbing activities of the cells. Further studies are in progress to identify the enzyme responsible for OTA degradation in P. rhodozyma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalFood Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2007



  • Adsorption
  • Carboxypeptidase A
  • Detoxification
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Phaffia rhodozyma
  • Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

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