The Effects of Storage conditions on the Growth of Bread Mold
Purpose: In what conditions does white bread mold grow best? We are doing this experiment to determine the best area to store white bread. We are doing this because we want to find out how to keep the bread fresh as long as possible. We already know that mold grows best in dark, moist places. We also know it is not safe to eat. Some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. And a few molds,in the right conditions, produce "mycotoxins," poisonous substances that can make you sick. (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Molds_On_Food/#2) It is usually a greenish-black color and it is fuzzy.Fungi can be defined as a plant without chlorophyll, so it cannot get energy directly from the sun. This means that fungi must use other plants and animals as its food source. This is why bread mold is so common - because of the ingredients in bread, it is an excellent source of nutrition for many molds to grow and thrive. There are 4 critical requirements for mold growth – available mold spores, available mold food, appropriate temperatures and considerable moisture. The removal of any one of these items will prohibit mold growth. (http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/moldgrowth.htm) It also contains limited moisture content, which is why mold can grow so well instead of bacteria or yeast that requires higher moisture levels to survive. (http://www.abigailsbakery.com/bread-recipes/bread-mold-causes.htm) Some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Molds_On_Food/) Molds help us in other very important ways too. Many antibiotics are made by molds. (http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-01/947122230.Gb.r.html)

Procedure: We plan to get five slices of white bread. We will put one slice without water in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator, to have a different temperature, and one in a Ziploc bag with 3 drops of water in the refrigerator. One in a Ziploc bag with three drops of water in a dark pantry and one in the pantry in a bag without water. We will also have a slice in a Ziploc bag laying out on a counter. Then we will check the amount of mold each day in millimeters covering the bread. During our experiment we are going to find out in what condition white bread grows the most mold. We chose white bread because it is more popular. There will be four experemental groups and one control, which is the bread on the counter.

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that the piece of bread with with three drops of water in the dark pantry will grow the most mold on it. We believe this because the condition it is in is the best condition that mold grow in.

Materials
  • Five slices of white bread
  • Water
  • Ziploc bags

Analysis
The first eight days we saw no mold on any piece of bread. Although after five days, the pieces that had water placed on them had turned yellow in the spot the water was in. On the ninth day, one millimeter showed up on the piece that had three drops of water and was in the pantry. Two days later the piece with three drops of water in the fridge grew mold. After that, the mold started to grow on all the pieces. We ended up with five millimeters of mold on the piece with three drops of water in the pantry, three millimeters on the piece with three drops of water in the fridge, and two millimeters on the control piece, the piece in the fridge with no water and the piece in the pantry with no water.

Limitations
After eight days we were not sure if any mold was going to grow because we thought too much air got into the bags and dried out the pieces.
The temperature on the counter was the same temperature as the pantry.
The pieces in the fridge were at a colder temperature than the pieces in the pantry and on the counter.
We do not have time to repeat the experement.
We can not control humidity.

Conclusion
We started this experiment to find out what conditions mold grows best on white bread. We wanted to do this because we wanted to know how to preserve bread the longest. We hypothesized that the piece in the pantry with three drops of water on it would grow the most mold; we were correct. It grew five millimeters of mold. We hypothesized this because we knew that mold grew best in dark, moist places.
Works Cited
"Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?" Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Molds_On_Food/#2
"Mold Growth." Mold Growth. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/moldgrowth.htm
"Bread Mold Causes." Bread Mold Causes. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.abigailsbakery.com/bread-recipes/bread-mold-causes.htm
"Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?" Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous? N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Molds_On_Food/
"Re: Do Molds Help Human Beings in Any Way?" Re: Do Molds Help Human Beings in Any Way? N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-01/947122230.Gb.r.html
ISP mold.PNG
Here is a link to an experiment similar to ours, testing the effect of temperature. (http://www.selah.k12.wa.us/soar/sciproj2000/NicholeA.html#results)