Mould not only contaminates our air but also contaminate our food. As the mould grows on food it produces enzymes that break down the food resulting to spoilage. In addition to enzymes, some moulds such as Aspergillus flavus also produce mycotoxins onto the food. Ingestion of mycotoxin-contaminated food is fatal. Hundreds of people in developing countries die every year after consuming grains contaminated with mycotoxins.
Food spoilage due to mould includes off-flavours, mycotoxins contamination, discoloration, and rotting. Spoilage can occur either in the field or in storage. The water activity of the food determines the types of mould spoiling the food.
Moulds commonly found on cereals, nuts and their products.
Fusarium spp., e.g., Fusarium graminearum
Moulds commonly found on high sugar foods.
Moulds commonly found on fruits and vegetables.
Moulds commonly found on animal products such as meat, eggs, fish and milk
Aspergillus spp, e.g., Aspergillus versicolor
Eurotium spp, e.g. Eurotium herbariorum
Penicillium spp. e.g., Penicillium commune
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