<OL> <LI> Determine the types and amounts of bioactive components in cultivated mushrooms of nutritional or medicinal importance to consumers. <LI> Evaluate select cultural and postharvest handling practices that can improve safety of cultivated mushroom products.<LI> Develop practical methods for the recovery and utilization of bioactive and functional components from low-value products of mushroom farms and processors to be used as novel food products or ingredients.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: This project focuses on pratical means to add value to raw edible fesh muchrooms and food products/ingredients made from them. Add value and safety to mushroom products.
APPROACH: <BR> 1. Initial investigations will be conducted with antioxidants. L-ergothioneine will be measured by HPLC, phenolic antioxidants will be assessed by the Folin-Ciocalteu procedure and total antioxidant capacity will be evaluated by ORAC methodology. Mushrooms to be tested include Agaricus bisporus (common white button, crimini, and portabella), shittake, oyster and maitake. <BR>2. The microbial ecology of the casing layer and the influence on microbial food safety of the common button mushroom will be studied systematically. The influence of the indigenous microflora on growth and survival of important foodborne pathogens (e.g. Listeria monocytogenes) will be evaluated using standard microbiological procedures. <BR>3. Under-utilized or under-valued components that are products or by-products from farms or processors of button mushrooms (e.g. off-grade mushrooms or chips from slicing operations) will be used to produce new functional food ingredients such as soup stocks, flavor extracts, air-dried powders. Emphasis will be placed on developing food ingredients that can add bioactive or functional components to formulated or manufactured foods.