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  • 1 Corvinus University of Budapest Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Sciences Somlói út 14-16 H-1118 Budapest Hungary
  • 2 Corvinus University of Budapest National Collection of Agricultural and Industrial Microorganisms, Faculty of Food Sciences Somlói út 14-16 H-1118 Budapest Hungary
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Microbiological challenge study was carried out to verify the microbial stability of bottled waters against four different mold species isolated from bottled water ( Fusarium sp.; Cladosporium sp.; Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus fumigatus ) and to follow the growth of the molds in bottled water. Twelve types of bottled water with different mineralization and CO 2 level in PET and glass packages were collected from 4 European countries. Three different inoculation levels of spore suspensions were used to contaminate bottled water samples. The surviving colony forming unit (CFU) numbers and visual growth were monitored during the investigation period (26 weeks). The results of surviving CFU showed that the fungal growth is mostly determined by the carbonation level and the type of the mold strain. Neither the inoculation level nor the mineral content had any significant effect on the survival of the different mold strains. Results showed decreased CFU numbers in carbonated waters, while slow decreasing, stagnation or even some growth in still waters. A. fumigatus was the most resistant test species. None of the other tested mold strains survived the first 12-week test period in carbonated water. Visual growth was not detected in carbonated water samples, in contrast to all of the non-carbonated samples.

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