MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: How does temperature affect the mold growth in the 5 differentfood groups?

Date: Fri Oct 29 08:47:51 1999
Posted By: Charlene Wolf-Hall, Faculty, Food Science
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 940345884.Mi

Hi Rachael,

When we talk about any type of microbial growth in foods there are several factors involved. The main ones are the nutrient content of the food needs to be enough to support growth - this is usually high in any food, the pH or acidity of the food, the temperature of the food needs to be within the gorwth range of the particular microorganism of interest, enough time at the proper temperature to allow growth to commence, the correct amount of oxygen for the particular microorganism, and enough water content.

For the foods you chose:

Molds grow much slower than bacteria if the conditions are very good as in the turkey meat. Molds are, however, much more resistant to things like low pH and low moisture, so they can grow without much competition from the faster growing bacteria.

To get back to your question about temperature. Most molds will grow quite well if all conditions are right - at about room temperature. Depending on the species of mold involved, some can grow very well at refrigeration temperatueres. Not many foodborne-molds grow at freezer temperature though. Certain species of molds have heat resistant spores that can survive some cooking processes and then germinate and grow when the food is cooled. These species can be a problem in processed fruit products.

As for the food group, all the food groups contain many nutrients that would support the growth of molds. The best ways to prevent mold growth are to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, not to keep foods for too long - especially at temperatures that would allow growth, possibly use preservatives, and use proper sanitation methods when preparing foods.

I hope that answers your question.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Microbiology | Microbiology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Microbiology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.