As the weather starts to warm up there’s so much to love. Enjoying picnics and BBQs with friends and family, homemade icy poles, splashing in the water and long sunny days. There’s also the bits that are not so fun like sunburn, bug bites and our favourite foods going mouldy faster than usual. There’s no way to avoid it happening, all fresh made foods without artificial preservatives and mould inhibitors will succumb to the green and white fuzzy colonies after only a few days and this process is faster in warm weather. Understanding how that happens can ensure you are storing your Healthy Loaf gluten free bread properly to avoid mould for as long as possible.
All types of mould belong to the same family as mushrooms, known as fungi. Fungi is a plant that is distinguishable from its flora counterparts because it doesn’t contain chlorophyll. Without chlorophyll fungi rely on plants and animals to be their food, instead of using the sun like other plants do to generate energy and grow. Microscopic mould plants float in the air all around us until they can attach themselves to a food source, they ideally like warm, dark environments without much airflow—like bread in a plastic bag or container. As mould grows it matures and releases mould spores, like seeds into the air and begins the process again. Mould prefers a warm environment but can continue to grow slowly in colder temperatures, like those found in your fridge.
Mould will hibernate at very cold temperatures when frozen in your freezer but as soon as it warms up again the mould will continue to grow.
Mould has done some amazing things for humans, like the creation of antibiotics that have saved countless lives and whilst I’m sure we’re all grateful for that and respect that it obviously has a place in the ecology of our world, some forms of mould can be toxic and cause respiratory problems and allergies. If you find mould on your bread it can be tempting to some to cut that spot of mould off and use the bread left, however it’s important to realise the mould may have travelled further in the bread than the naked eye can see and it’s always safest to throw it away in a sealed bag.
Our top tips for managing mould are to:
Store it in small quantities ready to use: Cool your Healthy Loaf gluten free bread down in the fridge for 12 hours after baking, then slice with a sharp knife to the thickness you like. Now you can put it in an air tight container in the fridge if using it within 24-36 hours or the freezer for up to 3 months. We personally slice and put 2 slices per ziplock bag or freezer safe sandwich container, so you can take from the freezer only what you need.
Keep it in the freezer unless you’re eating it: Remember frozen bread will still have mould spores from the air, they’re everywhere, but its being in the freezer that inhibits their growth. Only pull your bread, rolls or other products out when you’re going to use it immediately or within a couple of hours.
The freezer will inhibit mould growth, the fridge will only slow it somewhat: It’s always nice to eat a fresh slice of bread but in the summertime keeping our bread fresh for a sandwich can be tricky. A tip for refreshing our bread from the freezer is using your microwave, oven or toaster to quickly soften and refresh it.
Healthy Loaf Wraps must be kept in the fridge or freezer: These are a favourite for many but they have a higher moisture content than any other Healthy Loaf products which makes them a favourite home for mould. They need the special love and care of always being kept in the fridge at least and freezer ideally (in single serves) to optimise their used by date. Just make sure they’re completely defrosted again before trying to roll them!