Temperatures Effect of Mold Growth on Wheat Bread

Written by norah crowley
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Temperatures Effect of Mold Growth on Wheat Bread
Refrigerating or freezing bread will retard mould growth (Image by Fotolia.com, courtesy of Melisback)

All bread will eventually develop mould, but nutrient-rich wheat bread nourishes the fungi more than refined breads and so will get mouldy faster. Storing breads at cool temperatures will discourage the growth of heat-loving moulds.

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The most common types of moulds that appear on breads are Rhizopus, a black, fuzzy fungus known as "bread mould," and Penicillum, which is greenish blue.


Most moulds grow best at 80F; even in cold weather, an often-used kitchen may be at that temperature. Refrigerating or freezing bread will retard the growth of mould.


Because wheat bread contains more nutrients than refined breads, it is more attractive to mould. Therefore, whole grain breads need to be stored at a lower temperature than white breads to stave off mould growth for the same amount of time.

Commercial vs. Homemade

Most commercial breads contain preservatives and mould retardants; most homemade breads do not. Your homemade loaf may therefore become mouldy at a lower temperature than that you buy in the store.


Molds need moisture as well as heat to thrive, so bread that is tightly sealed, as in a sealable plastic bag, will remain mould-free longer than those simply left in a bread box.


Most bread moulds are harmless in small amounts, so accidentally eating some likely won't hurt you. Some moulds, though, are toxic, so when you see your bread is mouldy, throw it out.

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