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Beware of Fungi in Flour: It Won't Turn You Into a Zombie, but It Can Make You Sick - SciTechDaily

Beware of Fungi in Flour: It Won't Turn You Into a Zombie, but It Can Make You Sick - SciTechDaily

Beware of Fungi in Flour: It Won't Turn You Into a Zombie, but It Can Make You Sick - SciTechDaily
Mar 13, 2023 47 secs

As a food scientist, I study the effect of processing on the quality and safety of fruits and vegetables, including the flour used to make pancakes.

While no one is going to turn into a zombie from eating pancakes in real life, flour is often contaminated with fungi that can produce mycotoxins that make people sick.

Farmers use multiple techniques to reduce this devastating plant disease, including implementing crop rotation, using resistant varieties and fungicides and minimizing irrigation during flowering.

The microorganisms that public health officials are most worried about are E. coli and Salmonella, dangerous pathogens that can cause severe illness.

It has even been suggested that the Salem witch trials were caused by an outbreak of ergotism that led its victims to hallucinate, though many have disputed this idea.

Farmers use many techniques to minimize fungal growth and remove moldy grain, and the government keeps a close eye on mycotoxin levels during crop production and storage.

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