Monascus purpureus

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Monascus purpureus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Eurotiomycetidae
Order: Incertae sedis
Family: Monascaceae
Genus: Monascus
Species: M. purpureus
Binomial name
Monascus purpureus
(Went, 1895)

Monascus purpureus (syn. M. albidus, M. anka, M. araneosus, M. major, M. rubiginosus, and M. vini; Chinese: , pinyin: hóng qū jùn, lit. "red yeast") is a species of mold that is purplish-red in color. It is also known by the names ang-khak rice mold, corn silage mold, maize silage mold, and rice kernel discoloration.

This fungus is most important because of its use, in the form of red yeast rice, in the production of certain fermented foods in East Asia (particularly China and Japan). However, recent discoveries of cholesterol-lowering statins produced by the mold has prompted research into its possible medical uses.

The related fungi Monascus ruber and Monascus pilosus are also used in industrial applications.

See also

External links

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