Science Questions

Does blue cheese alter antibiotic resistance?

Sat, 24th Sep 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Cheese Making and Cake Baking: The Chemistry of Cookery


Nelson Gichora, via Facebook asked:

I enjoy stilton's blue cheese. However, I wonder if regular consumption of the cheese would contribute to antibiotic resistance given that strains of Penicillium are used in its manufacture?


Martin -  Itís not a problem because the mould in cheese making doesnít produce Penicillin,  itís actually a different species that's used to make Penicillin.

Chris -  Well that's reassuring.  So the species thatís used to make blue cheese is Penicillium roqueforti?

Martin -  Yes.

Chris -  And itís related but you couldnít make antibiotics with it?

Martin -  No. It's Penicillium chrysogenum and P. notatum that produce Penicillin, the antibiotic.

Chris -  Okay, so if I scrape all the fluff off my bread, I can't argue that I'm going to be pathologically abiotic and noninfected with things because it won't make any antibiotic molecules?

Martin -  No.


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