Mold is a microscopic
that develops on plant and animal products. The exact number of species of these fungi is still unknown: scientists number from tens to three hundred thousand. If you look at
under the microscope
, you can see the structure of the mold: filaments that penetrate the food, stems that rise above the surface of the product, and spores attached to the stem in the form of balls. Mold propagates just by spores, and they give mold a specific color. Fungi love humid and warm conditions (although they can multiply in the refrigerator), as well as sugar and salt, so mold can be seen both on jam and on cold cuts.
Now let's see if moldy foods can be eaten at all. It seems that the answer is no - the most obvious. But it’s not so simple. It depends on the specific product. For example, you can eat hard cheese - just cut off the spoiled part (and two and a half centimeters around it), but strawberries or a piece of moldy bread should be thrown away.
Although we see fungi only on the surface, they can also get inside the product: the softer it is, the easier the mold penetrates.
There are foods that are intentionally eaten with mold, for example soft cheeses with white mold such as camembert and brie and blue mold like roquefort and gorgonzola. For the manufacture of these types of cheeses, special mold is used - it is safe for health, but it is still recommended that older people, pregnant women, infants and young children, avoid such cheese products.
Some types of mold can cause an allergic reaction or cause breathing problems. Therefore, you should not take risks and eat moldy foods.
At the same time, some experts believe that if you accidentally eat a berry or a piece of fruit with a slight touch of mold, most likely, nothing terrible will happen. Sensitive people may experience temporary symptoms of indigestion. If a person is sick for longer than a day, you need to see a doctor.
If you find products with mold, do the following:
Mold spreads especially quickly on fruits and vegetables.