Mold Facts

Mold Facts
Mold, which is also sometimes spelled mould, is a type of fungus. There are many mold species, some of which are responsible for food spoilage, antibiotic creation, food production, and even disease. Mold reproduces by way of spores, some of which can be dispersed in wind, in water, or by clinging to objects. Only large mold colonies can be seen by the naked eye. Foods are refrigerated to deter mold growth, as most mold species cannot grow until temperatures reach 5°C or higher. However they can lay dormant and begin to grow when placed in the proper temperatures.
Interesting Mold Facts:
Many types of food are made with the help of mold, including cheeses. The molds used in cheese production vary, but may include geotrichum candidum, penicillium, and rhizomucor miehei.
Molds are also used to produce soy bean paste and soy sauce in a process that involves fermentation.
Sake is produced by koji molds.
The mold Monascus purpureus is used to produce red rice yeast, which has shown to help reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
Mold is responsible for important medications, including penicillin - an antibiotic discovered by Alexander Fleming, by accident.
Cyclosporine is a drug used to help transplantation patients by suppressing organ rejection. This drug is derived from a mold called Tolypocladium inflatum.
The wrong types of molds can be hazardous to human health. These are the types of molds that grow in wet or damp environments such as homes or workplaces. These molds are considered to be toxic molds, producing mycotoxins.
Some foods can develop molds that are dangerous when eaten. These mycotoxins include aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, and patulin among others.
An individual exposed to unhealthy mold species on a regular basis can experience a variety of symptoms such as runny nose, sinus congestion, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, wheezing, throat irritation and coughing, and sneezing.
Some people experience more serious health problems due to mold exposure such as asthma, allergic reactions, infections, and rarely but occasionally, death.
Aflatoxin is a type of mold found most commonly on peanuts and corn. This mold is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing).
Spraying bleach on mold does not kill the mold. It makes it worse. Removing whatever has mold is the only way to get rid of it completely.
Mold can eat a lot of things, including wood, fabric, and sometimes even plastic and metal. However a study done with a McDonald's Happy Meal concluded that mold could not eat it.
Christmas trees have been shown to be sources of mold exposure in the home. People that experience allergies when a live Christmas tree is in the home should opt for fake trees.
Mold can cause skin rashes, birth defects, cancer, asthma, and many other health problems.
Although many pople believe that the color of mold can tell you whether it is bad mold or harmless mold, this is not always true. Any color of mold can have harmful or harmless characteristics.
Some people use mold to create art, such as Daniele Del Nero who creates moldy model-size homes. They look spooky once the mold grows.

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