Moulds are aerobic chlorophyll-free fungi which produce thread-like filaments (hyphae) and form a branch network of mycelium. Moulds, which may be black, white or of various colours, will grow on most foods, whether moist or dry, acid or alkaline and high in salt or sugar concentrations. The optimum growth temperature is usually 20°C to 30°C, although they will grow well over a wide range of temperatures and may cause problems in refrigerators. Growth has been recorded as low as -10°C. High humidifies and fluctuating temperatures accelerate mould growth.
Moulds commonly affect bread and other bakery products, and although spores are usually destroyed in baking, subsequent contamination is difficult to avoid. Mould inhibitors are usually added to bread. Food must always be stored in accordance with the manufactures instructions and never sold outside its ‘use-by-date’. Mishandling of vacuum packs of cheese may result in punctures and consequential mould growth. As the mycelium grows over the food, hyphae penetrate the substance and is imperative to avoid customer complaints. The presence of mould on food is usually considered to render it unfit for human consumption. Cheese produced with specific moulds are an exception.
ATTACH MOULDY FOOD PHOTO