Australian Researcher May Have the Cure for Moldy Food

When it comes to eating food, one major concern many people have is eating mold. You might be casually eating a sandwich, not paying attention, next thing you know you just ate half a sandwich with moldy bread. Eww. For anyone who has accidentally eaten mold, it is far from tasty. In fact, it is the polar opposite of delicious. Plus, it smells. Not to mention, it is ugly! What if mold could be eradicated forever? Read on to learn more.

What causes moldy food?

What many people don’t know is mold spores are actually present on most surfaces. Although they are dormant until they are in an environment where they can germinate. In addition, eating moldy foods can cause major health problems. When mold spores are in the right environment, they will germinate and produce more spores. Since food is high in nutrients, it is the perfect breeding ground.

Once the food gets older, is in a warm and moist environment, you will see the germination of mold. Once you can see mold, it is almost certain the food is no longer safe to eat. If there is only a little bit of mold, you can cut it off and eat the remaining food. But, you must eat it quickly because the mold spores are already growing. Until recently, the only way to minimize mold growth is to keep foods dry and refrigerated. There’s a revelation in mold prevention technology though.

What happens if you eat moldy food?

Why is eating moldy food so dangerous? The reason is because the food is most likely contaminated with mycotoxins, which are fungal poisons. Mycotoxin poisoning can occur through ingestion and contact. Eating moldy foods is always risky. You might remember the recall of Chobani yogurt, which helped to increase attention brought to mold that develops on food. Some of the complaints received about the Chobani yogurt included headaches, diarrhea and nausea.

Signs of mold are fuzzy green or white spots. What makes it worse is the roots are difficult to see. So, even if you think you have cut off the moldy portion–that may not be the case. Moreover, invisible bacteria can grow with the mold. If bread has the appearance of mold, it means the entire loaf is moldy. You cannot save moldy bread as the mold spores spread quickly enough to contaminate the bread. You also don’t want to sniff foods with mold as it can cause respiratory trouble.

When discarding moldy food, you should cover it and place it in a covered trash container. You should also disinfect any surfaces touched by mold. This is a lot of work, isn’t? Well, perhaps you no longer have to worry about mold.

An Australian researcher has developed an inexpensive and chemical-free method for treating produce in the prevention of mold

What if you could just throw away the above suggestions and tips because food no longer had mold? You wouldn’t have to be concernced with wasting food or dealing with that gross and stinky mold. You can eat food at your convenience instead of rushing to partake before it goes bad. Sounds like a dream come true. Well, thanks to Dr. Kirsty Bayliss, these may all become a reality.

A professor at Murdoch University in Perth, Dr. Bayliss of Australia, has tested the treatment of fresh food using electrical currents and plasma for preventing mold growth. This process covers the surface of the food and kills infectious mold spores. So far, she has centered around avocados. But, she plans to perform research on carbs such as bread, dairy such as milk and protein such as meats, vegetables and cheese. Dr. Baylissspoke withABC News saying:

“Food wastage contributes to a lot of the food insecurity — a developed country such as the U.S. or Europe wastes around 100 kilograms (220 lbs) of food per person every year. If we could reduce food wastage by a quarter, we could feed 870 million people.”

Her plasma treatment also kills food-borne bacteria such as salmonella and listeria. Without the mold, food is safer for consumption. Dr. Bayliss adds: “The technology is based on the most abundant form of matter in the universe – plasma. Plasma kills the moulds that grow on fruit and vegetables, making fresh produce healthier for consumption and increasing shelf-life.”

Due to her revolutionary work, Dr. Bayliss has been named a 2017 LAUNCH Food Innovator. NASA, the Department of State, Nike and the U.S. Agency for International Development founded LAUNCH to support innovative solutions for sustainability issues. Bayliss was chosen out of 280 applicants. After 18 months of preliminary trials, her treatment should be ready to work on larger trials in commercial production facilities.