Most of you might already know that bread itself doesn’t have a very long shelf life, even more so if you just leave it on a shelf, counter, or any other open-aired compartments. Staleness is often the first concern here instead of mold.
But still, people are curious about which type of bread develops mold faster. Does white bread mold faster than wheat, or is it the other way around?
Generally speaking, it is whole wheat bread that molds faster than white bread. However, the results may vary depending on the age of the bread at purchase and the specific brand you use. It also depends on the types of preservatives used on the bread, with different manufacturers using different amounts and kinds of preservation methods.
Why Does Whole Wheat Bread Mold Faster Than White Bread?
If you will ever try running an experiment where you will bake two loaves of bread and you put them side by side with each other and allowed them to develop mold, you will notice that mold will form faster on the wheat bread than on its white counterpart.
It has a lot to do with how the two types of bread are prepared. Whole wheat bread is essentially made more naturally, which explains its name whole wheat bread. The baking methods and ingredients used also help produce a tastier and more natural product. Unfortunately, it is also more prone to deterioration and even molds much faster.
Of course, the time it will take for either whole wheat or white bread to mold is also dependent on the storage conditions used. if the bread is kept in a sealed environment and a dry place, it won’t attract mold right away and will also take more time to deteriorate. Some people also freeze their bread to increase their lifespan. In this case, if both white and whole wheat loaves are frozen, the two will probably retain their freshness at the same rate.
Difference of Mold Formation on White Bread and Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread usually molds faster than white bread. The moisture level of the bread is one of the major factors when it comes to the formation of mold. Wet bread will also develop mold faster compared to dry bread since mold grows the fastest in damp environments.
But there are still several other factors that also play a role here. If you are worried about your bread being susceptible to mold, you can try several ways to lessen the risk of mold growth.
An easy way to check if your bread is already moldy is by leaving it out in the open. You will want to keep the bread out of your fridge for a few days at the very least. If you don’t do so, your bread will start growing mold.
White bread typically starts to mold within one to two weeks. Wheat bread, on the other hand, can last for several weeks or even months. Aside from the factors mentioned above, storing the bread in a cool place can also keep it longer.
Can You Eat Bread with Mold?
Although mold doesn’t really cause any serious health concerns, eating moldy bread can be very unpleasant. While you might still get some fiber from the bread, eating bread with mold can lead to allergic reactions and even respiratory problems.
The presence of water activity is what makes the bread more prone to mold. An excessively moist bread will have a lot of water activity, resulting in mold growth. If the moisture content is lower, mold will also grow faster on bread.
Even if both white and wheat bread may develop mold on them, you will easily notice the difference in how fast it forms. One experiment revealed that a loaf of white bread developed mold first while the other two types of bread developed mold the fastest. There was a dramatic difference in the production of the mold with white bread forming mold on the sixth day while the other two bread varieties had less mold on the seventh day. All in all, the results were almost the same.
Another reason why whole wheat bread tends to mold faster compared to white bread is that the white flour used is already cleaned. The bran and germ are also removed from the grain. The outer parts of the grain have more mold compared to the interior parts.
Although white bread is less moldy by nature than whole wheat bread, it might still form a large amount of mold if you pack and store it improperly. The same rule is also applicable to whole grain and multigrain bread.
Do Preservatives Affect Mold Growth on Bread?
Most commercial bread today contain preservatives that increase the bread’s acidity, which makes it less likely to develop mold faster. The bread’s acidity can also prevent mold growth that thrives in warm and damp places.
Even if the ingredients in white and wheat bread have the same risk when it comes to attracting mold, there is a higher chance for wheat bread to develop it. Wheat bread has fewer preservatives than its white counterpart.
It also has a higher water content which makes it more susceptible to mold growth. Although both types of bread are prone to mold, the specific effects of preservatives on wheat and white bread will also differ.
Adding a mold inhibitor to the bread can increase its shelf life for an additional four days. However, it is not necessary for all types of bread. An exception here is sourdough bread. Sourdough bread has lactic acid content that generates bacteria that can hinder mold growth. It means that mold inhibitor is not required for sourdough bread. But you can still add it if you want your bread to be fresher and moister.
While the number of preservatives added to white bread can affect the growth of mold, there are still other factors that play a role. For example, light can kill mold. Aside from this, the appropriate source of food, moisture, and temperature can also affect the speed of the formation of mold on bread.