Will Cooking Kill Mold?


Will Cooking Kill Mold?

One of the greatest disasters that can ever happen to your food is the formation of molds within your food.

Mold represents small bacteria and other microorganisms, known to harm all kinds of degradable foods, by rotting it inside and out. Molds actively grow in hot, musky, and wet temperatures, where the existing environment is able to produce a lot more moisture. 

That is one of the reasons that even left-over foods in your fridge can get moldy, if not eaten early enough. Although it is disgusting to catch the sight of mold on your favorite dish and drink, it is extremely important to learn the best ways of fighting off the presence of mold.

Once you are cooking the food, the mold dissolves itself, but the food still remains quite inedible and may have an odd or gross flavor.

Does cooking actually kill mold?

You can absolutely kill mold by cooking, or, preferably, autoclaving it which uses high pressure as well as temperature to kill microorganisms. Mold produces toxins however, called aflatoxins, that are somewhat heat resistant. … So the mold is dead, but the food is still inedible.

Just because the mold is now dead doesn’t mean you can chow down! The food is still not safe for you to eat despite the mold being dead.

What Are The Major Molds Found In Different Food Items?

Molds can be made up of various types of microorganisms. These microorganisms are able to thrive easily, even in extremes of temperatures. It is always possible to notice when these bacteria grow on your fruits and other items. In fact, even fresh herbs, as well as vegetables are prone to molds. Although the quality of molds is different from item to item, some of the major ones are as follows:

  • Aflatoxin is the most important toxin that is found in the parent mold. This toxin is able to heat up and melt itself when you start cooking the food. Nuts, bread, and even rice contain this type of mold. Oftentimes, the seeds and the upper surface of bread and nuts start to form a light discoloration. Even baked products like cookies and cakes can carry this mold, which can often be destroyed, once it is exposed to extremely high temperatures. If you are cooking the bread, then chances are that the mold gets destroyed easily. But do not be fooled with the quality of the bread here, as it is still poisonous to consume.
  • Although cooking can lower  the side-effects of molds, it is extremely important to know that anything infected with mold is not safe to eat. Zearalenone is a mold that is found in poultry products in small amounts. The only way to get rid of this mold is to cook the meat and other poultry items slowly, and then discarding it.

Similarly, other types of molds include Stergmatocystin, Ergot, Kojic Acid, and T2 toxin. It is essential to determine the nature of the mold first, before you start to heat the objects, or ultimately cook it.

What Are The Common Treatments For Molds Found In Your Daily Food Items?

Bakery products and other fresh items, when infected by molds, can be cooked to get rid of harmful bacteria and organisms. However, this isn’t the only process involved. There are various items that cannot be exposed to high temperatures of cooking, as the entire composition of the product might change. Therefore, there are other methods available that can help you get rid of mold, apart from cooking. These methods are as follows:

  • After some general research, even nutritionists and food enthusiasts agree to the fact that cooking can sometimes kill only 60% of the molds. It is totally harmful to consume the food infected with mold, even after cooking it. Therefore, for quick results, something with alkaline should be used.
  • Even reducing agents like lemon or raw lime is a very effective remedy that can kill the mold instantly. All sorts of grains and pulses, and even pasta, when infected, can be sprinkled with Vitamin C. The mold can take up to 10 minutes to dissolve, after which the food can be cooked. However, adding too much of it can completely change the flavor profile of the food.
  • Vinegar, when infested with molds, cannot be cooked. Therefore, keep the vinegar in the fridge for at least a single day, to kill the mold by itself.
  • Mold in raw honey can be heated for half an hour, on a low flame, to kill the mold. It is best practice to check the flavor of the honey before consumption.

What Are Careful Reminders? Can Cooking The Food Alone Kill All Molds?

Cooking mold infected foods means that the food is being exposed to extremely high temperatures and pressure. Although molds can survive without any difficulty, the direct heat suppresses the toxin levels, and eventually destroys the mold. However, one of the major points to clarify here is that heating or cooking alone, cannot kill the molds completely. There are ample examples to justify this fact:

  • Cooking means exposing the microorganisms to direct heat. Cooking doesn’t mean that you have to bake the food item to kill the mold. In fact, it is a common myth that baking kills mold, which is absolutely false. Boiling the food can indirectly kill the toxins present in the mold.
  • Applying Vitamin C and then cooking or heating the food is not a good idea at all. This means that Vitamin C can cause major reactions, ultimately destroying the taste of the food. Therefore, you have to make sure that you sprinkle small amounts of vitamin C on your food, and leave the food unattended. The mold will automatically start to dissolve.
  • Finally, some food items need not be exposed to high temperatures of cooking, in order to destroy the mold. This means that some chemical agents can be used instead to directly destroy the toxins present in the mold. If the mold has just started to form, then feel free to use any chemical agent. Ultimately, you will also be able to preserve the food for longer time periods.

The Final Conclusion:

Cooking can be an incredible method to destroy the mold, without worrying about spreading microorganisms. Once you see the formation of mold on any of your favorite food items, try to heat that item up, to break down its composition. If the mold still exists and is multiplying, then feel free to use vitamin C and other alkaline acids. Also, heating the item in boiling water can kill the mold easily. Try these simple hacks that I have previously mentioned to keep these microorganisms away! 

Recent Posts