Edible Mushroom Cultivation
A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota,Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing.lamella) or pores on the underside of the cap. These pores or gills produce microscopic spores that help the fungus spread across the ground or its occupant surface.
"Mushroom" describes a variety of gilled fungi, with or without stems, and the term is used even more generally, to describe both the fleshy fruiting bodies of some Ascomycota and the woody or leathery fruiting bodies of some Basidiomycota, depending upon the context of the word.
Nutritive value of Mushroom
Mushrooms are a low-calorie food eaten cooked, raw or as a garnish to a meal. In a 100 g (3.5 ounce) serving, mushrooms are an excellent source (higher than 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, an excellent source of the essential minerals, selenium (37% DV) and copper (25% DV), and a good source (10-19% DV) of phosphorus and potassium. Fat, carbohydrate and calorie content are low, with absence of vitamin C and sodium. There are 27 calories in a typical serving of fresh mushrooms.
When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light even after harvesting, natural ergosterols in mushrooms produce vitamin D2, a process now used to supply fresh vitamin D mushrooms for the functional food grocery 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.
Some mushrooms or extracts are used or studied as possible treatments fordiseases, such as cardiovascular disorders.
Some mushroom materials, including polysaccharides, glycoproteins and proteoglycans are under basic research for their potential to modulate immune system responses and inhibit tumor growth,
Some mushrooms are potential antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties in preliminary studies.