12 January - 20 June 2016

Mushrooms – a valuable, complete and suitable health dietary food

A review published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness has explored the main bioactive nutraceuticals obtained from mushrooms. Hu et al. report that mushrooms could be used in the development of functional foods, and could be considered “as a valuable, complete and suitable health dietary food, which could be consumed by all age groups, depending on its richness in polysaccharides, proteins, and other functional ingredients with multiple bioactivities.”

A review published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness has explored the main bioactive nutraceuticals obtained from mushrooms.  Hu et al. report that mushrooms could be used in the development of functional foods, and could be considered “as a valuable, complete and suitable health dietary food, which could be consumed by all age groups, depending on its richness in polysaccharides, proteins, and other functional ingredients with multiple bioactivities.”

The review reports that the bioactive nutrients found in mushrooms, include polysaccharides, proteins, glycoproteins, unsaturated fatty acids, phenolic compounds tocopherols, ergosterols and lectins amongst others. These bioactive nutrients have been reported, in recent studies, to have health and therapeutic benefits including immune function enhancement, antitumor, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral activities. 

The polysaccharides including lentinan from Lentinus edodes, schizophyllan from Schizophyllum commune, pleuran from pleurotus species, calocybe indica and ganoderan from Ganoderma lucidum, have been developed and exploited as functional food substances, which Hu et al. report are “outstanding representatives of D-glucans”.  Most of the polysaccharides have been proved as dietary fibres and have been found to be beneficial to gut microbiota in gastrointestinal tracts. The authors report that antitumor, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities of mushrooms polysaccharides were the top 3 health benefits investigated by researchers.

Mushrooms have also been reported to be a high protein food having much higher protein content than other protein sources.  Protein content in dry mushrooms have been reported to be 228 and 249g/kg dry matter (dry weight).  Hu et al. lists the protein and peptides in mushrooms that have been found to have pharmaceutical potential.  These include lectins, fungal immunomodulatory proteins, ribosome inactivating proteins, ribonuclease and laccases. The review reports that lectins have been found to have immunomodulatory properties, antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Mushrooms contain a number of phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, lignans, tannins, stilbenes and oxidized polyphenols.  These compounds have been reported to protect against several degenerative disorders, including brain dysfunction, aging and cardiovascular disease.   The review summarises a number of studies that have focused on the phenolic properties of mushrooms and discusses such mechanisms.  For example Kun Liu et al. reported on the antiproliferative and antimicrobial activities of the phenolic compounds found in Inonotus sanghuang. 

The most common lipids found in mushrooms are polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been found to contribute to the reduction of serum cholesterol. Mushrooms have also been found to contain tocopherols, another type of fatty acid, which are an effective antioxidant, having free radical scavenging properties.  Studies have also isolated linoleic acid from mushrooms, this having been found to have “multiple physiological functions, especially the reduction of inflammatory level.”

The review finally discusses the use of mushrooms as functional foods.  For example, A bisporus mushroom have been combined with dried dates, to improve the nutrient quality of white bread including the improvement of protein and iron.  Another study has investigated adding A bisporus powder to sponge cake, to increase the nutritional value, whilst other studies have focused on using mushroom bioactive nutraceuticals in the development of dietary supplements. 

The review “confirms that the spectrum of various health benefits activities generated by mushrooms were heterogeneous and it is anticipated that with the current knowledge and advancements in nutrigenomic and molecular nutrition, mushrooms could be consumed as one of the best acceptable nutraceutical food for the daily supplementation.”  Hu et al do however state that more information of mushrooms physiological properties could help with the development of functional foods.

RSSL's team of experienced product developers and food scientists can assist your with your protein food and drink development needs. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry