The inhibition of molds by sodium acetate in deMan Rogosa Sharpe (MRS) medium, along with the antifungal activity of Lactobacillus rhamnosus VT1, was studied by the slope agar plate method. MRS agar prepared with and without sodium acetate was used as the agar substrate. A total of 42 strains of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Rhizopus were used to compare sensitivities to the inhibitory activity of sodium acetate and L. rhamnosus VT1. It was found that sodium acetate in MRS medium affected the growth of 33 of the 42 mold strains tested to various degrees. The highest sensitivity to sodium acetate was shown by strains of Fusarium, followed by strains of Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Rhizopus. L. rhamnosus VT1 also inhibited mold growth. A significant finding was that sodium acetate and L. rhamnosus VT1 in combination exhibited a possible synergistic action. Thirty-nine of the 42 mold strains tested were completely inhibited by the presence of both antifungal agents. This finding confirms that sodium acetate, a basic component of commercial MRS medium, has strong antifungal properties, and this must be taken into consideration when evaluating the antifungal activity of Lactobacillus cultures grown in MRS broth.
†Published as paper no. 13515 Journal Series, Agricultural Research Division, Lincoln, NE 68583. Research was conducted under Project 16-056.