The Fresh Loaf

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Moldy grain issue

MarkWT's picture

Moldy grain issue

Back in December, I ordered some Rouge de Bordeaux grain and after it arrived, I put it into two different plastic containers that I'd bought at Target. Been pulling the grain from one of them for grinding into flour for my bread. Just today, I happened to check the other container and saw what looked like flecks of mold on the sides of the container, but there was a lot of mold on the bottom. The containers are ones like these:

Haven't seen any evidence of mold in the container I've been pulling grain from. It's stored in a different area than the "moldy" container.

Two questions: 1. What might cause mold to develop in the first place?The moldy grain was stored in a cabinet above one of our wall ovens. It hasn't ever felt hot up there, but I've never measured the temp after I've had the oven on. Is this perhaps the cause of my problem?

2. Can I salvage any of the grain? The mold is visible mainly on the bottom of the container with some smaller spots on the sided.

Thanks for any advice about this. 



Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But when it comes to the second point I wouldn't risk it. Better safe than sorry. 

charbono's picture

The grain may have too much moisture. The container you've been drawing from may have had enough air circulation to draw off some moisture.

justkeepswimming's picture

It is interesting you had mold develop in one container and not the other, makes it sound like the grain was ok, and does point to storage. General recommdations for grain storage are cool, dry locations. The cabinet above the stove may indeed be the issue? If the canister wasn't completely dry before the grain went in, that could also be a factor? 

You could put a thermometer in the cupboard and check temps at various times  Google will tell you the best temperature for storing grain. Hard to say 100% what the cause is from miles away, mold can certainly happen in storage a variety of grains and foodstuffs.

>>> I am not an expert but am a retired nurse. It would not be advisable for you to use any of the grain in the container with mold. Even the grain without obvious mold likely has spores on it. 

Mold on grain can produce mycotoxins, known to cause some pretty significant short and long term health issues in humans and pets. A type of mycotoxin called aflotoxin is pretty bad and well worth avoiding. There is no known safe level of aflotoxin that I am aware of, though others on TFL will have much more info.

A link with some info:

I know in general mold is hard to kill, and personally I would likely not use that container for anything food related. Perhaps it could be out to good use in the garage or shop building? 

Hopefully this doesn't put you off from using whole grain. It's another one of life's learning experiences, and good you caught it. 

MarkWT's picture

I appreciate all your comments. I had been thinking that I might be able to use some of the grain, but you've all convinced me to toss it, and probably the container too. I've got other grain containers in the house, mainly large buckets with ratcheting tops that I bought from Breadtopia. They work great with 25-30 lbs of grain, but would be a bit much for a 10 lb bag of grain. It's a good reminder to check my grain containers more often.

Thanks again.