Can any given mold grow on multiple types of food?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Can any given mold grow on multiple types of food?

Post by AlanKalane » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:04 pm

Let's take Rhizopus oligosporus as an example. It is an edible type of mold that is used in the production of tempeh, a traditional indonesian dish.

Tempeh is normally made with soybeans, but you can make tempeh with many kinds of beans, grains or nuts and even with oat. Let's stretch this:

Beans, grains, nuts and oats are all typically starchy foods. Does this mean you could grow R. oligosporus on most kinds of starchy food like potato, banana, pasta or bread? Would that be edible?

Could it be possible to grow it on non-starchy foods like a tomato or on meat? Would that be edible?

Could you do that with other kinds of molds or yeasts, such as Penicillium Camemberti used in the production of cheese? If the mold is edible then would the molded food always be edible?

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Re: Can any given mold grow on multiple types of food?

Post by rahilsaxena » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:31 am

Mold spores are everywhere, and many strains grow on food. Tiny mold spores are all around us in the air, which is not harmful to our health in moderation. Once a spore lands on a surface, it searches for water and nutrients to feed off of. Food is able to grow mold easily because it is often kept in the perfect environment to foster mold growth. The temperature is usually about right, air quality is good, and the food itself provides the nutrients and water the mold needs in order to grow. As the spore takes root, it begins to spread and create more spores and spread quickly on the surface of your food. Some molds can take over your food in a matter of 12 to 24 hours, while others may take weeks.
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