Fungi in malting barley grain and malt production

  • Aurimas Krasauskas
Keywords: malting barley, grain, fungi, mycotoxins


Contamination of malting barley grain with microscopic fungi during different periods was investigated from 2012 to 2014. Grain samples of malting barley were taken directly from the field before harvesting and from a storage silo; malted grain was taken from two malt producers in Lithuania. The fungi were isolated and identified in barley grain before the malting and after steeping and germination during the malting process. The total count of fungi was done in these barley samples during the mentioned phases. Most attention was given to widely distributed fungi known as producers of toxins: Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium. Abilities of some of these fungi to produce secondary toxic metabolites cause a possible hazard to people consuming the contaminated products. The aim of this work was to investigate changes in fungi composition and in their total count in barley grain, the raw material for the production of malt.