Journal article Open Access
In this study, the Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) compounds were applied in order to study mould-fungi growth on dried Scots pine sapwood. Background and Objectives: The transition to the use of more sustainable wood-material may be possible by applying GRAS compounds that can control and prevent contamination by primary colonising mould fungi. Materials and Methods: Kiln-dried sawn timber was treated with three different GRAS compounds, and different fungal inoculation methods applied in order to investigate differences in the development of fungal communities. Results: Substances based on potassium silicate significantly reduced fungal growth and mould contamination on the studied wood surfaces. By combining wood-surface treatments with GRAS compounds, fungal-area size as predictors and mould grade as response, a partial least squares (PLS) model that makes it possible to predict mould grade on wood surfaces was developed. The PLS model is a key component in the development of a smart grading-systems equipped by e.g. high-speed digital cameras for the early detection of fungal attack on wood surfaces in different applications. However, the measurements based on chemical characterisation should be the next step to take in order significantly to enhance the model and increase the range of robust applications. In the current study, a multivariate model describing the influence of each fungal-covering area on mould grade was presented for the first time.