OCR F212 2.2.4

Microorganisms and food spoilage


Microorganisms and food spoilage

Many organisms obtain their nutrition by digesting organic matter around them. This can be our food, and because they leave waste products, we consider our food to be spoilt.

There are 4 main ways that microorganisms can spoil our food:

  • Visible growth of microorganisms on our food. This is most obvious when fungi grows on food.
  • Microorganisms use an external digestion process. They release enzymes into the food and absorb nutrients. Sweets and sugars are released from Carbohydrate molecules which results in the smell.
  • The Bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces a toxin called botulin which causes botulism. This will grow on your food if bacteria is.
  • The presence of microorganisms in food cause cause infection
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