Monascus purpureus (syn. M. albidus, M. anka, M. araneosus, M. major, M. rubiginosus, and M. vini; Chinese: 红曲菌, pinyin: hóng qū jùn, lit. "red yeast") is a species of mold that is purplish-red in color. It is also known by the names ang-khak rice mold, corn silage mold, maize silage mold, and rice kernel discoloration.
This fungus is most important because of its use, in the form of red yeast rice, in the production of certain fermented foods in East Asia (particularly China and Japan). However, recent discoveries of cholesterol-lowering statins produced by the mold has prompted research into its possible medical uses.
- Index Fungorum page (synonyms)
- Index Fungorum page (general)
- Monascus purpureus page
- Website about medicinal use of Monascus purpureus