How is it that if you leave a piece of damp bread around in the kitchen of your home, it will be covered with a furry,’ green coat in a few days? We say the bread has become “moldy”, which means mold is now-growing on it. But where did the mold come from? The answer is ’that the spores of green and black mold exist in the air almost everywhere. The spores are the reproductive bodies of the mold. And if you provide them with a suitable place for obtaining food, they will settle and reproduce.
If you looked with a microscope at the web-like threads of the mold, you would see that it is made up of many long, colorless threads with two kinds of branches. One branch is topped by little black balls that contain the spores.
The other kind, which is shorter and which penetrates into the bread, serves as an absorber of food, like roots. All moulds and mildews have them and they are both types of fungi; simple, dependent plants.
The most common molds that people know are the black and green molds, named after the color of their spores. And since these spores are floating about in the air all around us, when food, fruit, preserves, or even leather are left about in warm, moist places, the spores quickly “attack” and begin to grow.
The green mold that grows on bread is called penicillium glaucum. There is a mold very much like it which grows in soil, called penicillins notatum, from which we get penicillin!
What Is Mould Used For?
Enzymes – Molds are used industrially to produce enzymes that are used in the production of other products. For example, mold can be used to make the enzyme rennet that curds milk for cheese production.