By: Tim Bortoli
Mold is the name given to the a specific type of multicellular fungi. There are thousands of species of mold and mold spores are found in the air and sometimes in the water. These spores are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but are easily visible with a microscope. When a group of mold grows on an object such as food the mold can be easily seen. If you ever wondered why food goes moldy, continue reading to find out.
Why does mold grow on food?
We already know that mold spores are commonly found in air. This means that it is very likely that food will come into contact with them. Although this is not usually a problem, in certain situations this can cause large colonies of mold to grow on food. For this to happen the mold requires moisture, nutrients and the right temperature. When mold is exposed to these conditions the spores germinate and the colony of mold begins to grow. The prime conditions for mold growing a usually found at room temperature, and this is why fruits and vegetables left on the counter often go moldy more quickly.
The reason we store food in the refrigerator is to slow down the growth of bacteria and mold on our food. However, there is certain species of mold that are quite capable of growing a large colony on food inside refrigerators. This is why it is important to keep your refrigerator clean and discard old food. Not all mold growing on food is dangerous, but it is never recommended to eat moldy food. At the very least, it will change the taste of the food and make it less appealing. Some people believe that cutting off the mold makes the food safe, but there is likely to be other colonies that cannot be seen.