What is a mold? A mold is a microscopic organism which are often woolly, and are produced by a fungus (That belongs to the order Mucorales) on decaying or wet organic matter. There are different types of molds that can be found on food. Here, we shall examine 7 types of molds based on their different colors.
Where can you find a Mold?
A mold is known to like sugary and salty foods, such as Jam.
You can also see it on vegetables, Cheese, fruits, and yogurts.
Any food item that has any sort of fluid or water can be capable of mold growth.
How does a mold grow on food?
Mold spores, which are very tiny, are always in the air. These spores, when they land on floor, grows root and eventually grows into patches of molds that naked eye can see. Once they are matured, they produce and release new spores into the air, ensuring cycle continuation.
Different Types of Molds on Food
1) Black Mold On Food
Many strains of mold have a black toxic mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum) which are usually found in attics.
However there are a lot of black mold that are not toxic as well, such as the Rhizopus stolonifea.
You may come across black mold on your food or refrigerator. Although there is no way to identify the toxic black mold, and the non toxic ones, so it is advisable to assume that anyone u come across is harmful, and get rid of the food item.
2) Pink Mold On Food
The two common fungi that grows on food with a pinkish color are, Aureobasidium and Fusarium.
Pink mold is usually seen on meat, bread and diary products. Consumption of pink mold can cause effects like, infection of the respiratory tract, the urinary tract, and the gastro intestinal tract.
3) White Mold On Food
Many types of Mold cab be white in color.
But funny enough, many colored molds can actually do through a stage where they become whitish, before developing the spores that gives them their own colors.
Unless you are using white mold intentionally, for food preservation, always assume it is toxic, and get rid of affected food properly.
4) Green Mold on Food
Cladiosporium is one of the species of green mold. These genre of mold are often found on bread and citrus fruit.
They are very irritating, especially for people that are allergic to Mold, and they also have an unpleasant smell.
This can result to respiratory problems like coughing and vomiting. Cladosporium mold are capable of producing mycotoxins too, so it is best to avoid exposure
5) Orange Mold On Food
Some genres of mold can actually take the orange color, like Fuligo Septica and Aleuria aurantia, and they normally have a slimy texture.
Though they are not as dangerous as others molds, they are still capable of causing respiratory problems. And they always accompany bacteria. Orange mold normally grows on woods, making it not only a threat to food, but also a threat to the furniture in your home.
6) Red Mold On Food
Other types of molds include the Red mold. Red molds are usually Neurospora. This color of mold are not particularly dangerous, but it is better to avoid exposure to them, because some molds that produce mycotoxins can also appear red in some situations.
7) Blue Mold On Food
Blue molds are of the genus Penicillium.
They are capable of producing penicillin though not all the species.
The blue mold of cheese, in the absence of oxygen is actually safe for consumption, but they can also produce mycotoxins when they are exposed to Oxygen.
What Happens If You Eat Mold?
Just like mushrooms, a mold has different species, some which are not harmful to human, and some which are very harmful to human when they are consumed.
Molds are capable of producing poisonous and dangerous chemicals, such as Mycotoxins, which can cause serious illness or even death, depending on the amount that was consumed.
Inhaling mold on food may cause allergic reactions, or problems with the respiratory tract.
People with mold allergies can have serious reactions when they consume mold.
And for people without Allergies, it can cause irritations in the respiratory tract.
How To Avoid Eating A Mold
1) Ensure that the Inside of your fridge is clean, and immediately get rid of spoiled and damaged foods.
And also, whenever you are storing food items in the fridge, ensure to leave them covered, especially vegetables and fresh cut fruits.
2) Always keep your perishable foods and other food items refrigerated. The rate of mold growth increases when the food stays for several hours at a room temperature.
3) Your kitchen Countertop. Keep your towels, sponge, dishcloth, and mops clean always.
Always get rid of items you cannot clean, to avoid spreading of mold
4) Avoid Buying Moldy Foods. Examine and inspect your food well before buying. Check the stem areas of fresh products and avoid buying bruised food items.
5) When serving food, always keep it covered, to avoid exposure to mold spores that are in the air.
6) When you want your vegetables or fruits to stay moist, ensure to cover them with a plastic bag.
7) If a food is already covered with mold, put it in a plastic bag and get rid of it in a covered trash.