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Tomatoes & Mold

Posted by brokenbar Z4 N. Wyoming ( on
Sun, Sep 21, 08 at 15:31

I was cruising the web and came across an interesting article regarding tomatoes and mold spots. I thought I saved it but now can't find it and have searched the web and still no luck.

The author, a PHd in something...states that tomatoes that have any visible signs of mold should never be used for anything, even when the moldy part is cut off. He said that the mold spores are throughout the tomato, you just can't see them. If the tomatoes are canned, it is a possibility that the mold will not be completely killed/rendered inactive in a hotwater bath. Pressure canned tomatoes were safe, albeit the mold spores can effect the taste over time. He also said that if you use your knife to remove the mold, if it is not washed in anti-bacterial soap and rinsed well, you will be spreading the mold spores to everything else you cut. For home gardeners, he recommended varieties that are not prone to splitting because these are the ones that usually develop mold in the cracks.

I know I have cut off a little moldy spot to use a tomato in a salad so apparently, I am stupid!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tomatoes & Mold

Mold is not good, but slight bruises are fine to remove. Once moldy they will travel inside and discolor the whole tomato in no time. The use of an acid is VERY necessary when home canning tomatoes. I used cracked ones too, but cut away these areas as they usually dry up and pook ugly, but will not affect the insides much. Not every gardener can get perfect blemish free tomatoes, unless they grow a LOT and toss out all the bad looking ones, which could be half the crop. Eaten fresh with cut off mold is OK, but for canning and long term storage, you want the product to be as spore free as it can, Hence the need for citric, or bottled lemon or lime juices.

RE: Tomatoes & Mold

I did find this summary from Colorado Extension. Also saw the same information on other sites but haven't yet run across the sort of scientific article you mention.

It looks as if mold in soft foods/foods with high water content (jams, cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes etc.) is the issue because mold travels so quickly in soft flesh.

So you could cut a moldy spot out of a potato and use the rest but not a cucumber or tomato.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I learned something.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cutting Off Mold Doesn't Always Make Food Safe

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