Q: We just received a call from a customer who wondered about this statement at the bottom of our instruction in the Mold Screening Test Kit:
MALT EXTRACT AGAR WITH 0.01% CHLORAMPHENICOL INTENDED USE
Malt Extract Agar is used for the isolation, cultivation and enumeration of yeasts and molds. The media is rendered selective for fungi by the addition of Chloramphenicol. The Agar specifically targets Candida albicans (ATCC 10231), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (ATCC 9533), and Aspergillus niger (16404).
The customer wondered if that meant that the plates would only develop those three types of mold.
A: The answer is no. There are 4,000 types of mold and it would be impossible to target all of them with one type of media. Instead we promote the culture of certain molds by including proteins that best help that subset grow. The proteins do not inhibit the growth of the other molds, but they are not specifically meant to aid in their culture. The malt extract is designed to culture the widest possible array of mold while making the extra effort to culture the molds that are most problematic for humans.