- A project led by researchers at the University of Western Brittany is looking at the appetitive properties of molds in food.
- Participatory, the program invites individuals to send in a sample of moldy food in a package so scientists can collect a collection of molds.
- The project aims to better understand the danger of these molds and fight food waste.
They are picky eaters and enjoy all kinds of food. Tricky enemies, molds like to invite themselves to refrigerators, fruit baskets or jam jars. In many cases, something that frustrates consumers who swing directly Food Mold in the trash. Not all molds are bad, however, and give some cheeses, such as Roquefort, their flavor. Unpleasant, not all of these small black or green spots are non-toxic. Can we eat them then? Cut off only the coated portion and eat the rest? Or throw it all away?
In an attempt to answer these questions, a project funded by the National Research Institute was initiated by the group. from the University of Western Brittany, based at the University of Brest and Montpellier. Called Mynion, it aims to “fill a gap in scientific knowledge about molds,” according to author-researcher Monica Cotton of the University’s Laboratory of Biodiversity and Microbial Ecology, who leads the project.
500 wrapped food items will be collected from households
And scientists need your help to learn more about these fungi that spoil food and change its taste and appearance. Originally, the project had to be collaborative. Everyone is invited to send coated food to the team of researchers, making it a real collection of molds. ” You must registerAnswer a short questionnaire and send us a sample of the plated food found in the home in a kit that we will provide,” explains Kimberly Girardon of West’s Economics and Management Laboratory, who will be in charge of the collection.
By the end of this year, scientists hope to collect 500 contaminated dishes from households. “We accept all prints,” smiles Kimberly Girardon. Fruits, dairy products, baked goods, jam or dried sausage. »
Fight food waste
Once this feast is harvested, researchers will study these molds in great detail. An ambitious project spanning four years. “We already want to determine which foods are most likely to be coated and find out how consumers react to coated products,” stresses Monica Cotton. The work will also focus on the health component. “We know that some molds are dangerous because they produce mycotoxins,” says the researcher. We are trying to find out if these mycotoxins are likely to migrate into food and to what extent they pose a health risk. »
Many unanswered questions will, in the long run, enlighten the general public about the dangerous nature of these molds. “The idea of the project also needs to be addressed For food waste By preventing consumers from properly throwing away contaminated food, notes Monica Cotton. To do this, we will establish simple recommendations, taking into account the health risk. »