Low calo­rie source of

New Zealand Fitness - - HEALTH SCIENCE -

Mare a low-calo­rie food eaten cooked, raw or as a garnish to a meal. In a 100g serv­ing, mush­rooms are a good source (higher than 20 per cent of the daily value) of B vi­ta­mins, such as ri­boflavin, niacin and pan­tothenic acid, an ex­cel­lent source of the es­sen­tial min­er­als, se­le­nium and cop­per and a good source of phos­pho­rus and potas­sium. Fat, car­bo­hy­drate and calo­rie con­tent are low, with ab­sence of vi­ta­min C and sodium. There are just 27 calo­ries in a typ­i­cal serv­ing of fresh mush­rooms.

When ex­posed to ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) light even af­ter har­vest­ing, nat­u­ral er­gos­terols in mush­rooms pro­duce vi­ta­min D, a process now used to sup­ply fresh vi­ta­min D mush­rooms for the func­tional food mar­ket.

In a com­pre­hen­sive safety as­sess­ment of pro­duc­ing vi­ta­min D in fresh mush­rooms, re­searchers showed that ar­ti­fi­cial UV light tech­nolo­gies were equally ef­fec­tive for vi­ta­min D pro­duc­tion as in mush­rooms ex­posed to nat­u­ral sun­light, and that UV light has a long record of safe use for pro­duc­tion of vi­ta­min D in food. Mush­rooms treated with UV light or ex­posed to sun­light are the only whole food veg­etable source of vi­ta­min D.

Mush­rooms are used ex­ten­sively in cook­ing, in many cuisines (no­tably Chi­nese, Korean, Euro­pean, and Ja­panese). Though nei­ther meat nor veg­etable, mush­rooms are known as the “meat” of the veg­etable world.

Most mush­rooms sold in su­per­mar­kets have been com­mer­cially grown on mush­room farms. The most pop­u­lar of th­ese, Agar­i­cus bis­porus, is con­sid­ered safe for most peo­ple to eat be­cause it is grown in con­trolled, ster­il­ized en­vi­ron­ments. Sev­eral va­ri­eties are grown com­mer­cially, in­clud­ing whites, cri­m­ini, and por­to­bello. Other cul­ti­vated species now avail­able at many su­per­mar­kets in­clude shi­itake, maitake or hen-of-the­woods, oys­ter, and enoki. In re­cent years, in­creas­ing af­flu­ence in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries has led to a con­sid­er­able growth in in­ter­est in mush­room cul­ti­va­tion, which is now seen as a po­ten­tially im­por­tant eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity for small farm­ers.

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