Bread mold is a kind of fungus that is commonly found on bread surfaces. It takes food and nutrients from the bread and causes damage to the surface where it lives. It causes a bad taste to the bread also. But the mold has a place in the industry where it serves as a decomposer that can decompose decayed plants and animals.
Bread mold has a very simple lifecycle. It appears on the bread surface as a wind blown spore. With adequate moisture and nutrients from the bread, this spore sprouts and grows hair like structures on the bread surface. Once the mold attains a particular growth with paint brush like structures, it starts producing fruiting structures. These structures, sometimes called conidia, contain spores that are blown by wind and spreads to other bread surfaces.
Bread mold is found in different types, species, shapes, and colors. Some of the common bread molds are Penicillium, Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Monascus, and Fusarium. Penicillium molds usually appear green and grey in color and Aspergillus mold appears similar to Penicillium to the naked eye. But both are different when examined under a microscopic. In the Aspergillus mold, the fine hairs contain large balloons with spores inside.
If you are interested to see bread mold you can perform a small experiment with bread. You can take a slice of bread and moisten it slightly. Then keep the bread for two or three days in a place where there is no chance of the moisture content drying up. You will see some mold growth on the surfaces.
As the spores of this bread mold are commonly found in the air, bread is easily spoiled. To prevent this growth on bread surfaces, the bread can be baked at a temperature of 400 degrees or preserve the bread with small amounts of chemical. The chemicals used are prop-ionic acid and acetic acid which are safe to be mixed with the bread during the making of the bread.