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Monascus pigments are a kind of high-quality natural edible pigments fermented by Monascus filamentous fungi, which have been widely used in food, cosmetics, medicine, textiles, dyes and chemical industries as active functional ingredients. Moreover, Monascus pigments have a good application prospect because of a variety of biological functions such as antibacterial, antioxidation, anti-inflammatory, regulating cholesterol, and anti-cancer. However, the low productivity and color value of pigments restrict their development and application. In this review, we introduced the categories, structures, biosynthesis and functions of Monascus pigments, and summarized the current methods for improving the productivity and color value of pigments, including screening and mutagenesis of strains, optimization of fermentation conditions, immobilized fermentation, mixed fermentation, additives, gene knockout and overexpression technologies, which will help to develop the foundation for the industrial production of Monascus pigments.


JinTao He, MingXi Jia, Wen Li, Jing Deng, JiaLi Ren, FeiJun Luo, Jie Bai, Jun Liu. Toward improvements for enhancement the productivity and color value of Monascus pigments: a critical review with recent updates. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2022;62(26):7139-7153

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PMID: 34132617

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