Molds are fungi that live on the surface of plants and other living substances. There are thousands of types of mould. Different types of mould affect fruits in different ways and at different rates. For example, some types of mould are most likely to affect berries, while others affect thick-skinned fruit such as oranges.
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It's difficult to determine what fruit grows mould the fastest, because mould can't always be seen. Mold can be dangerous to the health, affecting breathing and possibly causing allergic reactions. It can be affecting fruit even before it can be seen, and once there are circles of mould visible on the surface of fruit, threads have already spread deep inside the fruit. Production of spores is a characteristic of mould and other fungi. Spores can be moved among bunches of fruit quickly by insects, air and water.
Mold and Berries
Gray mould is one of the most common fruit rot diseases. Also known as botrytis, grey mould typically affects berries that are near maturity on vines and plants. Berries that are frequently affected by this type of mould include blackberries, blueberries, grapes and strawberries. Botrytis can spread rapidly on any of these fruits. Young fruits may be affected, but berries are most likely to be contaminated when it is just about harvest time. Handling infected fruit while picking causes this mould to spread to other fruits.
Mold and Soft Fruit
Soft fruits can easily become infected with different types of mould. High moisture content of soft fruits can help mould to spread rapidly throughout the fruit before it is even visible. Soft fruits should be eaten soon after purchasing to insure freshness. Examples of soft fruits include plums and peaches. If mould becomes visible on these fruits, the fruit should be discarded.
Mold and Firm Fruit
Most moulds don't grow as rapidly on fruits that are firm because these fruits have less moisture content and typically have thicker skin. It is more difficult for mould to penetrate thick-skinned fruit. Examples of firm fruits include apples and pears. When small mould spots are found on the surface of this type of fruit, they can be cut off. If more than one mould spot is found, it's probably better to discard the fruit.
Cleanliness is an important part of mould prevention. The refrigerator should be cleaned frequently, because mould spores can live inside the refrigerator. Fruit should be examined carefully before purchasing and washed thoroughly before eating.
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