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Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Bread: The food of life

Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

Bread is sometimes called the "food of life." It's also a food favorite of mold because of bread's nutrient-rich ingredients and moist texture, which feeds mold's growth. In the humidity and moisture of a kitchen, it doesn't take long for bread mold to appear, often in just a few days. Although mold thrives in warm, dark places, fridge mold can also develop in colder temperatures. How does this happen? Here's a quick overview.

Finding a Home
Mold spores—microscopic plants or the "seeds" of mature mold—float everywhere, both outside and inside our homes. The kitchen is an ideal environment to advance their growth thanks to its mild temperatures and high-energy food sources. Bread is especially tempting because of its high starch and sugar content. Here are some bread facts:

  • Packaged bread bags limit air circulation and spur mold growth.
  • Damp, dark spaces, like a pantry, refrigerator, or breadbox, are mold-friendly.
  • Preservative-free fresh bread attracts mold faster.
  • Freezer-stored bread avoids molding because mold can't survive in intense cold or heat.

Establishing a Colony
When mold spores come across bread, they literally take steps to establish a mold colony.

Spores sink their tiny "feet" (hyphae) deep into bread's porous spaces.
Spread rapidly as they burrow in across the bread's surface.
Sprout upward to form mold casings we see as bread mold—fuzzy gray- or green-colored patches.
Mold cases break open and allow its microscopic spores to go airborne.
The entire process repeats itself.

Kitchens in Yelm, WA, have the optimal conditions for fungus growth. Bread mold is a common nuisance that's responsible for trillions of dollars in global food spoilage each year. However, it's good to remember that millions of mold spores float all around us. Inspect regularly for mold that has found its "home" in your home and, if needed, bring in mold remediation experts to assess the problem and stave off the property and structural damage.

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