Molds and humans share a love–hate relationship. Certain molds have served humans by providing means to produce foods (ripening cheese) and medicines. Molds are endowed with extracellular proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes, which catalyze reactions responsible for softening of foods. Mold growth gives flavor and odor to and changes the appearance of food. Also molds, particularly filamentous fungi, produce metabolites (mycotoxins, myo meaning fungal) that can have adverse effects, such as estrogenic effects, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity, in humans and animals.
Last modified: Thursday, 23 February 2012, 9:13 AM