Have you ever picked a discarded piece of bread lying around for the past week and noticed the tinge of green or a shade of blue on the surface? Well, it’s fungus, more precisely food mold.
Foods molds are microscopic fungi that survive and flourish on plants and animal. The mold on food originates from tiny spores that float around in the air. When these spores fall on a piece of damp food, they develop into a food mold you can see, like that on old bread, cheese or jams.
Though the actual number of species of food molds that exist is unknown, it is believed they number in millions. Although mold on food may differ in size and color, they all have one common feature, thread like body and roots. And the color of the mold in food depends upon the spores.
When checking for moldy food, you need to be aware that the surface is not the only place affected. Food molds have long roots that can penetrate your food from the inside.
Some food molds are pretty dangerous and the mold in food can affect your health in more ways than one. Food mold can cause respiratory problems and aggravate the advent of allergies. In addition, some mold in food produces a substance called mycotoxins, which can make you sick because they are a very poisonous substance.
Molds are found everywhere and in all conditions. Mold on food usually occur when the food is left stale and damp for some time. The color of the food mold can be anything from blue to black.
Some of the commonly found mold in food are:
Although most molds need damp and dark conditions to grow, food can get moldy even when kept inside a refrigerator. Molds also tolerate sugar and salt well, thus there are chances of molds growing in jams and jellies.
Ways you can minimize your chances for mold in food:
- cleanliness plays a very important role in keeping molds away
- buy small quantities of food items & ensure proper storage of all items
- keep freshly cut vegetables & fruits covered so they’re not exposed air spores
- perishables should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than a couple of hours
- leftover food should be consumed within a day or two to minimize risk of food mold taking root
If any food item develops mold or has reached its perish ability, toss your moldy food because it should not be included in your diet.