Mold is actually ubiquitous in our living environment , but why do most product inspections and protections target bacteria rather than mold? And how does mold do harm to the human body in life? Today we want to tell everyone:
1. The air is actually full of mold. The mold is very light and tiny. It is very difficult to completely eliminate them, but it is possible to prevent the item from becoming moldy!
2. Alcohol can achieve its anti-bacterial and anti-mold effects by following a simple principle!
3. Is it safe to eat moldy food? No! Of course! Even if the food is only a little bit moldy, don’t eat it!
Last, why the manufacturers always only care about the inspection for bacteria, but seldom do inspection for fungi. We will also decrypt for you!
First of all, we must develop a concept with everyone: the characteristic of mold is moving in the form of spores via air, which is harmless at this stage. But when they locate on the surface of the object and meet the suitable environment, the spores will start growing hyphae and secrete metabolite. At this stage, mycotoxins may be produced, and visible mildew (discoloration) may appear. What harm will be caused by eating these mold metabolites? What is common on food is like aflatoxin. If you eat improperly produces or preserved peanuts or coffee, you will start to have palpitations and nausea. This is the phenomenon of aflatoxin.
If I can’t eliminate the mold from our everyday life, how can I avoid the harm from mold?
The most common place mold appear in the house is usually in the bathroom and toilet, because it’s warm and humid enough, it is the best place to grow. On the other hand, living room is usually the brightest, well-ventilating and clean environment in the house so that it’s rarer to see mold. The closer to the bathroom and toilet, of course, the higher chance mold will grow. To prevent the environmental condition from becoming moldy hotbed, you must understand the reason first. The humidity in the bathroom comes from the large amount of water while taking bath, and the toilet is because of the bad ventilation which only has one entrance or window. These will cause bad ventilaton and high humidty. Of course, it has the greater chance to get mold. Also, the toilets are usually not cleaned every day. When the humidity accumulates for a week, mold spots may appear.
Closets and cabinets at home are also very classic unventilated environments all year round. After a relatively damp and cold season, the unventilated space with accumulated humidity may cause problems to clothes, leather accessories, and leather garments. When you open next time. , mold stains appear on them.
Some people think that using fans to dry the floors of bathrooms and toilets can achieve the effect of dehumidification. In fact, they only turn visible water into invisible tiny droplets in the air. Moisture still exists. Thus, the use of fans is not enough, using dehumidifiers can effectively reduce the humidity in the space.
Towels for hand or face often directly contact with skin are also easy to get mold. It is best to put them in a well-ventilated environment or dry them directly under sunshine after using to reduce the chance to get mold. If it is still moldy, the towels must be very dirty.
Regarding to above, it is very important to manage the humidity in our home. We all know that the humidity that mold prefers is above RH60%, so we can place a hygrometer in the most humid space in the home, and turn on the dehumidifier when the humidity rises, keeping the space dry. If it’s a space with cabinets, remember to open the cabinets. Because if the cabinet is not opened, the humidity will still accumulate inside, the humidity will not be decreased, and the mold may slowly grow out. Just like clothes and books that have not been taken out for a long time, they will be yellowish, which are mold spots caused by excessive humidity and improper storage.
By the way, YCM’s anti-mold/anti-bacteria stickers can still achieve its declared effects in humid places. However, a desiccant is no longer effective as long as it absorbs the moisture in the air.
Alcohol is not almighty. Using it properly can help you combat bacteria and disinfection
To remove mold and bacteria, the correct time duration of using alcohol is 30 seconds. We have introduced before that alcohol is fat-soluble, and it can be taken away by wiping after the surface structure of mold and bacteria is consistent with it. At the same time, its volatile characteristics will also take away the water on the surface of the item. It’s like after having a meal, we will wash hands with soap to remove the oil stains on our hands . During the process, the structure of the bubble’s surface will combine with the oil stains, and the water can rinse and take away all of them. The relationship between alcohol and bacteria or mold is like this. If you only use water, you can’t completely remove the bacteria or mold attached to the hands or the surface of the object.
Another example, the laboratory often cleans the container that contains mold. They they only rinse the containers with clean water, you will find that all the spores are floating on the surface, like white pepper floating on the water surface, because the spores are hydrophobic. But through the alcohol, it can easily combine with the surface of the spores, so you can spray alcohol on the surface of the objects and remember to wipe it in the same direction repeatedly to remove the bacteria or mold.
Why we can use alcohol to disinfect hands is because alcohol has the ability to dewater microorganisms. However, it also has the same effect on our hands. So using alcohol too often may make our hands feel dry.
In addition, someone says using salt water can remove mold. The principle is based on letting the microorganisms die after dehydration. Take the production of kimchi as an example. During the soaking process, the kimchi will gradually become dehydrated and shrink. Obviously, dehydration effect happen which has an effect on only some microorganisms. Even some bacteria and molds can resist such an environment. After leaving the salt water and being dried, the microorganisms can still survive on the surface, so the effect of soaking in salt water is not as effective as using alcohol.
Food is precious, don’t waste it… But is it safe to eat moldy food?
DO NOT eat moldy food! DO NOT eat moldy food! DO NOT eat moldy food! It’s very important so I repeat it three times.
Chinese people often use rice cakes and steamed sponge cake for worship during the New Year or festivals. After the worship, they often get moldy. Many people will cut off the moldy parts and eat. But this is unhealthy! Because the mycelium of the mold keeps growing and expanding in order to obtain more nutrients, which we cannot observe it directly with eyes. Even we cut off the obvioursly moldy parts, we only remove the part of the mold that has already produced spores. The hyphae is still inside the food so do not eat food that has been moldy.
We need to pay attention to the management of moisture and hygiene of food for our daily preservation. We will use bags and fresh-keeping boxes before putting them into the refrigerator. We also know to keep the containers clean. For food preservation, it is not recommended to let your food directly contact the packaging which doesn’t declare it has undergone any sterilization during production process. If you use a container, you must ensure that it is cleaned and dry to prevent the food from becoming moldy or spoiled. During the process of loading food, the time of exposure to the air should be as short as possible, and you should avoid talking because the spit or other dirty things fall into it. Quickly filling and putting it in the refrigerator, and reducing the frequency of opening the container is the only way to keep food fresh.
At last, we want to talk about：Can high temperature sterilization kill mold? In fact, mold may not be killed by high temperature. Mold is more resistant to environmental changes than bacteria. Mold spores are like plant seeds. The shell is hard and able to protect the inside. It usually stays dormant and can withstand high temperature or drought.
Food-related testing is probably about bacteria, because most of the reasons that cause food spoil are bacteria. According to the Taiwan Food Inspection Announcement Method, the majority is bacteria, and the test for fungi is relatively less. Take a incident of soda drink in Taiwan as a food safety scandal, the bacteria were tested at the beginning, and the results were all qualified. After the problem spread for four months, the fungus test was used to find out that the real problem was yeast. It was found that a large amount of yeasts were in the product.
Why does the inspection focus on detecting bacteria? This is because in the food industry, bacteria cause more problems than molds. As we have mentioned before, bacteria multiply faster than molds. Thus, before the problem of mold occurs, it may be spoiled due to bacteria. That’s why the inspection focus on detecting bacteria.