Mold in raw propolis
Although propolis inhibits the growth of many fungi, it can actually be sensitive to mold in its raw form. In it, various species of yeast can grow, which are also fungi.
So what needs to be done to avoid contaminating raw propolis? Here are some basic rules:
- Hygiene of the workshop and the place where the frames are stored as well as air humidity below 70% and ventilation. These factors influence the amount of fungal spores that come in contact with propolis during scraping.
- The amount of solid impurities.. Crude propolis is never composed exclusively of alcohol-soluble resins. It always contains a certain amount of impurities for example, wax, wood, fragments of dead bees, butterflies. Of course, the fewer these pollutants, the better. Ideally, contamination is limited to wax only. However, this situation is very rare. Unfortunately, wood, dead bees and especially worms and down droppings are an excellent breeding ground for mold. In turn, contamination with honey promotes the growth of yeast.
- Humidity. Moisture promotes the growth of fungi. If the propolis is dry, they will not grow. The humidity of the air in the propolis container must not exceed 70%. Moisture can enter raw propolis in many ways. Most often it is the result of cleaning the raw material with water or condensing water on the raw material taken from the freezer. If we clean the putty with water (cold, of course), then we have to dry it very well. Otherwise it will become moldy. If we store propolis in a freezer (which is a very good idea), it should be in a sealed package and after removing it from the freezer, it should not be opened until it reaches ambient temperature. As a result, the moisture in the air condenses on the packaging and not on the raw material.
- Storage. It is safest to store propolis in the freezer. Then we avoid all biological threats – not only mold, but also moths. However, if we do not have such a possibility, we can limit the frost to a few days and then store the propolis at room temperature in airtight packaging, ensuring that the product humidity does not exceed 70%..
Following these rules should protect your propolis from any contamination.