Sometimes as you dig into your cookie jar or sweet box, and take a nibble of them you would have sensed something wrong. Something has gone bad and awry. As you take a look at your cookie or sweet you see that there is some fuzzy white stuff. This fuzzy stuff is called mold. What are they exactly? How do they grow on food? Here is the answer to all your questions on mold on food.
What does mold mean?
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments also known as hyphae while yeast is a kind of single celled fungus. Mold is formed from the omnipresent fungal spores that are present in the air. Their primary purpose is to break down food and decompose everything. They are also essential parts of the glorious creations of nature, which produces and destroys everything thus returning living organisms back to the dust. Unlike the plants which make use of chlorophyll to produce their food from sunlight molds cannot make their own food since they lack the filament chlorophyll. So once the mold gets onto food items and works their magic on the chemicals that are present inside the food items. The food gets rotten in the end.
Why does nature need molds?
You might be annoyed at the sight of mold on your favorite cookies but mold plays a crucial role in nature. Mold helps in decomposing and rotting the food. These rotten food items when returned to the soil provide nutrients to other living organisms. Hence mold helps in food recycling in nature.
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Is there only white mold?
Molds come in all kinds of types and colors. However, all these growths are harmful to us humans and we must definitely avoid touching or consuming them. The most common one looks white cottony in the beginning. However, this will soon grow and spread and reproduce by producing more spores that get carried away in the air.
Why don’t some foods get moldy?
Usually preserved foods don’t support the growth of mold. To experiment, you can let mold grow on two pieces of cake- packaged cupcakes that contain preservatives and another homemade cake without any preservatives. You will notice that the one without preservatives will grow mold easily on it. Certain people are allergic even to the smell of mold. So, avoid smelling it. Happy learning!