MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: is cheese mold detrimental to your health?

Date: Thu Jul 2 08:54:24 1998
Posted By: David Beck, MadSci Admin
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 899239961.Mi

It is generally not a good idea to eat mold, as sometimes the spores from the 
mold establish an infection. But there is nothing wrong with eating many 
different molds, especially the ones found in many cheeses such as blue cheese. 
Generally with hard cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella, and such. it is best 
just to cut the section that is moldy off, and to use the remaining portion. 

This is true with hard cheeses. The hyphae of the mold do not penetrate very 
far. The hyphae are the portion of the mold that grows into the cheese to 
gather nutrients. In hard cheeses these penetrate only a millimeter or two. 
With soft cheeses such as cottage cheese the hyphae are able to rapidly 
penetrate deep into the cheese. When these soft cheeses go moldy it is best to 
dispose of them as you can not easily remove the moldy portion as you can with 
hard cheeses.

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