Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 178, Issue 2, pp 211–223 | Cite as

Monascus: a Reality on the Production and Application of Microbial Pigments

  • Francielo Vendruscolo
  • Rose Marie Meinicke Bühler
  • Júlio Cesar de Carvalho
  • Débora de Oliveira
  • Denise Estevez Moritz
  • Willibaldo Schmidell
  • Jorge Luiz NinowEmail author


Monascus species can produce yellow, orange, and red pigments, depending on the employed cultivation conditions. They are classified as natural pigments and can be applied for coloration of meat, fishes, cheese, beer, and pates, besides their use in inks for printer and dyes for textile, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. These natural pigments also present antimicrobial activity on pathogenic microorganisms and other beneficial effects to the health as antioxidant and anticholesterol activities. Depending on the substrates, the operational conditions (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen), and fermentation mode (state solid fermentation or submerged fermentation), the production can be directed for one specific color dye. This review has a main objective to present an approach of Monascus pigments as a reality to obtaining and application of natural pigments by microorganisms, as to highlight properties that makes this pigment as promising for worldwide industrial applications.


Microbial pigments Biomolecules Solid state fermentation Submerged fermentation Monascus 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francielo Vendruscolo
    • 1
  • Rose Marie Meinicke Bühler
    • 2
  • Júlio Cesar de Carvalho
    • 3
  • Débora de Oliveira
    • 2
  • Denise Estevez Moritz
    • 2
  • Willibaldo Schmidell
    • 2
  • Jorge Luiz Ninow
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Agronomy and Food EngineeringFederal University of GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  2. 2.Chemical and Food Engineering DepartmentFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering DepartmentFederal University of ParanáCuritibaBrazil

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