Vitamin D-Rich Mushrooms: A Research Success!
By Marcia Wood
November 12, 2008
Now there's an even better reason
to add fresh mushrooms to your breakfast omelet, noontime burger, or dinner
salad. Agricultural Research Service
(ARS) scientists in Albany, Calif., have teamed with
Monterey Mushrooms, Inc., of
Watsonville, Calif., to boost the vitamin D content of white, brown and
Thanks to UV-B lightlike that in sunshinethe company's new Sun
Bella line of fresh mushrooms offers at least 100 percent of the recommended
intake of vitamin D in each 3-ounce serving.
An estimated 40 percent of Americans don't get enough vitamin D. The
nutrient is essential for strong bones, properly functioning liver and kidneys,
and a robust immune system. Some research suggests that vitamin D may reduce
risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and Alzheimer's disease.
The idea of using UV-B light to enhance mushrooms' vitamin D levels isn't
McHugh, a research leader and food technologist at the ARS
Regional Research Center in Albany, and colleagues at Monterey Mushrooms
are likely the first to determine exactly how to best use UV-B rays for
commercial-scale production of vitamin D-rich mushrooms.
McHugh did much of the work under terms of a research and development
agreement with the company. Monterey Mushrooms recently introduced Sun Bella
mushrooms in supermarkets nationwide.
An article in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry documents some of the ARS mushroom studies.
ARS is a scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of