Does my rolled rye have mold in it?

Asked January 29, 2019, 2:02 PM EST

I regularly purchase "Rolled Rye Flakes" for cooking as hot breakfast cereal. Most of the flakes are the normal color, which is light brown or tan streaked with white. However, perhaps 2 or 3% of the flakes have a gray-green color, either instead of, or in addition to, the normal color. Why this color variation? Is this caused by mold? What else could it be? How dangerous is it to cook and eat?

Berrien County Michigan food safety

3 Responses

Hi,
I can not recommend eating the discolored rolled rye flakes. You can send them to a food testing lab to verify what the discoloration is.
From you description, I suspect it might be some form of mold.
Some molds produce aflatoxin, which is poisonous and contains cancer-causing chemicals. Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are two molds that produce aflatoxin. These molds are found in the soil,decaying vegetation, hay, and grains.
It is never wise to eat anything that has any type of mold or fungus on it.
There is the saying "when in doubt, throw it out."
Sincerely,
Chris Venema

Thank you! This is very helpful!

Thank you for your reply to my question about discolored rye flakes.
You suggested I could "send them to a food testing lab to verify what the discoloration is."
Could you tell me where to find a food testing lab of moderate cost?
Since I am seeking a refund on a 50-pound bag of rye, I would like to have a third party positively identify the cause of discoloration. (The manufacturer says the color variation is "normal.")

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise.
Jerry Moon, jmoon@andrews.edu