Book Review; R.A. Samson, E.S. Hoekstra, J.C. Frisvad, O. Filtenborg, eds. Introduction to Food- and Airborne Fungi (revised 6th Edition), 2002, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures - Utrecht, The Netherlands, 389 pp. Distributed in the United States by ASM Press, $79.95.

Abstract

The current literature, particularly from the last decade, contains significant publications on food and airborne fungi indicating not only that there is a marked increase in our understanding of these fungi but also an increase in the interest of the scientific community and the public at large towards these organisms. This interest creates a need for including these fungi in the curricula at Universities. For all these reasons, Introduction to Food – and Airborne Fungi is a particularly timely and relevant contribution to the literature in microbiology. This book is an extensively revised version of the earlier published (2000) sixth edition of the book. The revisions in this edition include an update of the taxonomy, addition of some important species and improvement to the keys to the taxa. The taxonomy and the nomenclature of Fusarium were also revised and the number of Penicillium species was increased in this edition. Synoptic keys were added for better identification of Penicillium species; and the text for the identification of yeasts was rewritten. A chapter on indoor molds was added, and updates provided on applied aspects of the fungi including more details on heat resistant fungi. The book consists of nine chapters and an appendix for glossary of common mycological terms and details for preparation of media for mycological studies. The main chapter, Chapter 1, deals with the taxonomy of food and airborne fungi; and that seems to be the primary focus of the book (Chapter 1, 279 pp.). Two other chapters (2 and 3) describe the methods for the detection, isolation and characterization of the fungi of interest. Chapter 4 describes the influence of environmental factors on fungal growth and metabolite production by these fungi. The next two chapters (5 and 6) provide some insights into mycotoxin production by filamentous fungi and their effects on food safety. Chapters 7 and 8 provide details on spoilage fungi and food preservatives that are effective against such fungi. Finally, Chapter 9 describes the use of fungi in industrial fermentations to produce a variety of products including enzymes and other organic substances. The strength of this book is the detailed pictorial description of the taxonomy of food and airborne fungi. However, some color pictorials would have been beneficial to the uninitiated (i.e. non-mycologists). The appendix provides significant details on media conditions for growth of these fungi. The other chapters in the book are intended to appeal to a broader audience as well as to highlight the economic, industrial or food safety significance of these fungi. All the chapters are written by well-recognized international experts. Unfortunately, these chapters, although well written, are not integrated into one another. One way this could have been achieved was to have an introductory chapter to tie in all the topics covered in this book. Some of the other chapters, for example the mycotoxin chapter (Chapter 5), would have been easier to follow if a composite table of mycotoxins, their fungal source, common source of isolation (e.g. food/feed/air), and the most significant adverse health effects was provided at the beginning of the chapter. In conclusion, Introduction to Food – and Airborne Fungi is an excellent reference book on this topic, and especially for graduate students and researchers in mycology (or microbiology in general).

DOI: 10.1007/s11046-005-4201-1

Cite this paper

@article{Bhatnagar2005BookRR, title={Book Review; R.A. Samson, E.S. Hoekstra, J.C. Frisvad, O. Filtenborg, eds. Introduction to Food- and Airborne Fungi (revised 6th Edition), 2002, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures - Utrecht, The Netherlands, 389 pp. Distributed in the United States by ASM Press, \$79.95.}, author={Deepak Bhatnagar}, journal={Mycopathologia}, year={2005}, volume={159}, pages={609-609} }