Aspergillus foetidus var. China to produce dark Pu-erh tea, also spelled as Pu'er tea, in Yunnan Province. Unlike Aspergillus niger, which it resembles, A. acidus does not contain mycotoxins ochratoxin A and fumonisins B2 and B4. The production is a lengthy process: for example, a ripened Pu'er produced in early 2004 was pressed in the winter of 2004/2005, and appeared on the market between late 2005 and early 2006. Images of the spores were obtained by SEM after new fungus was grown on an agar nutrient plate from marketed Pu'er tea. In reality, the sporangia are dark brown to black on a brownish background. Consumption of Pu'er tea leaves significantly suppressed the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of rats. The tea has in vitro antimicrobial properties against many microorganisms. Enhanced SEM. Image width: 30.7 micrometers. Magnification: 3260x if the image is printed 10 cm.
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