Posted by: Betty on: March 17, 2013
Pink mold is very common on damp food stuff that is stored in a cold environment and is commonly found on food stuff like bread, cheese, fruits etc. An individual pink mold on food cannot be easily detected. Normally pink mold is present in the form of vast colonies and appears pink. Pink mold on food needs particular environment to thrive e.g. water is an essential component required for fungal growth. That’s why damp food stuff easily gets affected by pink mold. Pink mold is very resilient in nature so, can grow in a wide temperature variations, ranging from freezing temperature of 40 °F to hot temperatures of 100 °F. It also requires proper oxygen supply to fulfill the never ending energy demands of a growing colony of mold. Most important of these needs is organic materials for its growth. Pink mold on food is never seen on food stuff lacking organic contents.
Pink mold on food also produce several digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes degrade the organic components of the food i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins to their simpler metabolites. These simpler compounds are absorbed by the fungus and it is used to produce energy. Pink mold on food spreads in two basic ways. The first mechanism involves the development of tiny hair like structures called “hyphae”. These threads like structures spread over a large surface area and helps the fungus in gaining access to new sources of food. The second method that pink mold on food uses for its growth is the production of tiny “spores”. These spores are extremely resilient, air borne, tightly protected and rounded structures that ensures the spread of fungus to distant places. These spores travel from one site to another and remain “dormant” for a long period of time. When conditions become favorable i.e. they get enough organic material, water, suitable temperature and oxygen, they start growing rapidly and for a hyphae seen as pink mold on food.
The only effective way to control the production of pink mold on food is to keep the environment dry. If the food is stored in sealed containers which is free of moisture contamination or is stored in dry places then no water will be available for pink mold to grow and spread. Another important way is to store food at very low temperature as fungus need a particular temperature to grow. Pink mold can also thrive on insects like cockroaches and mites. So, contamination of food to these insects should be avoided.
Pink mold on food is particularly dangerous because it can disturb normal process of absorption in digestive tract and produces “myotoxins” and “alfatoxins”. Basic symptoms of pink mold allergy include running nose, headache, fatigue, coughing and sneezing. These symptoms are more common in people with immune deficiency. A common place where pink mold grow is in dishwashers because this area is moist and cold and provides an ideal climate for fungus growth. The pink mold grows on food because improper storing of food and exposure of food to insects.