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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.03143

Diversifying of chemical structure of native Monascus pigments

Lujie Liu1, Jixing Zhao2, Yaolin Huang1, Qiao Xin1 and  Zhilong Wang1*
  • 1Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • 2Shandong Zhonghui Biotechnology, Paracel Islands

Red Yeast Rice, produced by solid state fermentation of Monascus species on rice, is a traditional food additive and traditional Chinese medicine. With the introduction of modern microbiology and biotechnology to the traditional edible filamentous fungi Monascus species, it reveals that the production of red colorant by fermentation of Monascus species involves the biosynthesis of orange Monascus pigments and further chemical modification of orange Monascus pigments into the corresponding derivates with various amine residues. Further study indicates that non-Monascus species also produce Monascus pigments as well as Monascus-like pigments. Based on the chemical modification of orange Monascus pigments, the diversification of native Monascus pigments, including commercial food additives of Red Monascus Pigments® and Yellow Monascus Pigments® in Chinese market, was reviewed. Furthermore, Monascus pigments as well as their derivates as enzyme inhibitors for anti-obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia was also summarized.

Keywords: Red yeast rice, Monascus pigments, Non-Monascus species, chemical modification, enzyme inhibitor

Received: 27 Sep 2018; Accepted: 04 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Laurent Dufossé, Université de la Réunion, France

Reviewed by:

Thiyam General, Dongseo University, South Korea
Muthukumaran Chandrasekaran, Government College of Technology (Coimbatore), India  

Copyright: © 2018 Liu, Zhao, Huang, Xin and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Zhilong Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, zlwang@sjtu.edu.cn