Chapter

Fungi and Food Spoilage

pp 339-355

Date:

Xerophiles

  • John I. PittAffiliated withCSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences Email author 
  • , Ailsa D. HockingAffiliated withCSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences

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Xerophilic fungi are distinguished by their ability to grow under conditions of reduced water activity, i.e. to complete their life cycles on substrates that have been dried or concentrated, in the presence of high levels of soluble solids such as salts or sugars. Early usage (Scott, 1957) confined the word “xerophile” to filamentous fungi and used the term “osmophile” for yeasts; the term “halophile” was used rather indiscriminately for moulds, yeasts and bacteria with the ability to grow on concentrated salt solutions.