Surely many of us have seen mold on ginger and wondered if it is harmful, if it is safe to use, or if there is a way to get rid of it.
Similar to vegetables and other foods, in case we do not store ginger properly, over time, bacteria and molds on food will appear, leading to rotten, spoiled food.
In this article, we will focus on solving the problem of mold on ginger root. We’ll discuss what bad ginger looks like, explore its causes and prevention, and answer some frequently asked questions.
From there, we can handle moldy ginger situations better in the future.
What Is Mold On Ginger Root?
Short answer: As the phrase implies, it is a situation where molds appear in patches on the surface of the ginger root.
Usually, these spots of mold gradually extend over time. Its colors are mainly white to green, dark blue, gray, and black.
Why Did The Ginger Become Moldy?
There is a combination of reasons that lead to this problem. Briefly, mold development can result from air exposure, environmental contamination, and cross-contamination.
Mold is essentially a fungus. Therefore, it needs to have oxygen to develop. In other words, oxygen in the air is key for mold development.
Although we may notice that we need to prevent air exposure for better food storage, some molds can develop in environments with low oxygen levels.
Especially moist surfaces with nutrients and air penetration are the ideal conditions for mold genesis and bacterial growth.
If the surrounding storage area has a high concentration of bacteria and dust, the likely moldy ginger will appear. It’s a correlational relationship!
For instance, mold is likely to grow if we place a bag of gingers near fermented or rotten foods, especially when combined with high humidity in the air.
The term describes a situation where contamination comes from the physical transfer of dust and harmful bacteria from one thing to another.
For example, if we use a dirty jar to store food, bacteria from the glass jar will gradually invade and destroy the food. The same thing will happen when we utilize unsanitary utensils, hands, etc.
As a result, clean storage containers or clean kitchen towels play important roles in storing foods.
What Types Of Mold Grow On Ginger?
According to a research article on frontiers (Tilahun et al., 2022), there are about 15 types of fungi (we consider molds) that can develop on this plant.
Two of them are Penicillium, and the others are Aspergillus varieties. The most popular species appearing on the ginger root is Aspergillus.
What Does Bad Ginger Look Like?
Hereafter are some signs that we can count on to determine whether our root is bad or not.
The ginger’s good texture is quite firm. When touching, we can feel it is hard to press. When we press with a moderate force, we may see a little liquid appear on the cutting surface.
On the other hand, if the texture is soft, moist, or flaccid, it’s a sign of bad ginger root.
Good roots mostly come in light brown skin, a bright yellow inside, with a little liquid on the cutting surface.
So, when we cut it out and see dark colors inside, including dark green, brown, or gray, we shouldn’t use them!
Mold on ginger root is a sign of a bad one. These molds or aphids may contain pathogens that are harmful to the health of consumers.
Moreover, we can crush a bit of it to check the smell and its spicy flavor. If we can get the expected aroma and taste, that one is still in good condition. Otherwise, throw it away!
How To Avoid Mold On Ginger Root
Preserve In The Fridge
- Resealable plastic bags
- A dry kitchen towel
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the dust (if any).
- Put all the gingers into resealable plastic bags. We can use one bag for the whole or divide it into bags (if needed).
- Use our hands and the cloth to press out the air in the bags. We need to limit the air appearance in the seal because oxygen and moisture are conditions for mold growth.
- Write the date on the bags. This method can store for around a month or more.
- Put the bags in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer.
- Take out, peel, wash, and slice when we need to use it.
- Freezer bags
- A dry kitchen towel
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the dust (if any).
- Put all the gingers into freezer bags. We can use one bag for the whole or divide it into bags (if needed).
- Use our hands and the cloth to press the air in the bags out. We do this to prevent mold development and freezer burns.
- Write the date on the bags. This method can store for around three months.
- Put them into the freezing zone.
- Take out, unfreeze, peel, and slice when we need to use it.
N.B. Do not wash them with water before sealing. The entire roots will absorb water, leading to mushy or molded ginger.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Ginger Last?
Usually, this plant will last about half a month in the kitchen cabinet, around a couple of weeks (3-4 weeks) in the fridge, and up to three months in the freezer.
However, if we peel it out, we need to store it in the fridge, lasting about one week.
Lastly, ground ginger products can last up to two years at room temperature.
Is Moldy Ginger Toxic?
Yes, it is. Mouldy ginger or rotten one can produce a carcinogen and toxin called Safrole.
Besides, those mold ginger roots can contain mycotoxins, which are capable of causing serious disease or even death. If we see mold on ginger root, we should throw them away as it’s unsafe for our health!
Can You Cut Mold Off Ginger?
We can cut off the spoiled part, but it’s still unsafe to consume! The mold part itself brings a lot of mycotoxins.
The remaining portion may also contain hidden mold spots occurring underground stem. It’s hard for us to recognize them by eye.
Mycotoxins are poisonous and temperature resistant. The common cooking techniques we use cannot entirely eliminate mycotoxins.
Thus, it is advised to throw away moldy skin roots to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. Moreover, we can avoid dangerous health implications.
Does Organic Ginger Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, if we have already peeled them! It’s a must to store peeled ones in the refrigerator because of oxidation. Air exposure is a killer to any food, especially the already-peeled vegetables, and fruits!
On the other hand, we can store unpeeled ginger root in free-air zip bags at room temperature, in the fridge, or the freezer. The lasting time will depend on the method we choose.
Mold on ginger root is unsafe to consume. It can cause serious complications to our health.
However, we can protect ourselves and our families by carefully examining the texture, color, and other signs of spoiled roots.
These signs answer the question: “how can you tell if ginger is bad?”. Moreover, don’t forget to use the fridge and freezer for storing because it’s a good way to prevent ginger mold development!