Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi (fungi which bear fruiting structures large enough to be seen with the naked eye). Edibility may be defined by criteria including the absence of poisonous effects on humans and desirable taste and aroma. Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional and culinary value. Mushrooms, especially dried shiitake, are sources of umami flavor.

White mushrooms and Enoki mushrooms are some of the most common edible mushrooms, commonly sold in stores.

To ensure safety, wild mushrooms must be correctly identified before their edibility can be assumed. Deadly poisonous mushrooms that are frequently confused with edible mushrooms include several species of the genus Amanita, particularly A. phalloides, the death cap. Some mushrooms that are edible for most people can cause allergic reactions in others; old or improperly stored specimens can go rancid and cause food poisoning. Additionally, mushrooms can absorb chemicals within polluted locations, accumulating pollutants and heavy metals including arsenic and iron—sometimes in lethal concentrations.

Several varieties of fungi contain psychedelic drugs—the magic mushrooms—while variously resembling non-psychoactive species. The most commonly consumed for recreational use are Amanita muscaria (the fly agaric) and Psilocybe cubensis, with the former containing alkaloids such as muscimol and the latter predominately psilocybin.

Edible mushrooms include many fungal species that are either harvested wild or cultivated. Easily cultivated and common wild mushrooms are often available in markets; those that are more difficult to obtain (such as the prized truffle, matsutake, and morel) may be collected on a smaller scale and are sometimes available at farmers' markets or other local grocers. Despite long-term use in folk medicine, there is no scientific evidence that consuming "medicinal mushrooms" cures or lowers the risk of human diseases.

Description edit

Assorted wild edible mushrooms

Mushrooms can appear either below ground (hypogeous) or above ground (epigeous) and can be picked by hand.[1] Edibility may be defined by criteria including the absence of poisonous effects on humans and desirable taste and aroma.[2] Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional and culinary value. Mushrooms, especially dried shiitake, are sources of umami flavor.[3][4]

List of edible mushrooms edit

Commercially cultivated edit

  • Agaricus bisporus dominates the edible mushroom market in North America and Europe, in several forms. It is an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America. As it ages, this mushroom turns from small, white and smooth to large and light brown. In its youngest form, it is known as the 'common mushroom', 'button mushroom', 'cultivated mushroom', and 'champignon mushroom'. Its fully mature form is known as 'portobello'. Its semi-mature form is known variously as 'cremini', 'baby-bella', 'Swiss brown' mushroom, 'Roman brown' mushroom, 'Italian brown' mushroom, or 'chestnut' mushroom.[5][6][7][8]
  • Pleurotus species, the oyster mushrooms, are commonly grown at industrial scale.[8]
  • Morchella species, (morel family) morels belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi. Morels are difficult to grow commercially, but there are ongoing efforts to make cultivating morels at scale a reality.[9] Since 2014, some farmers in China have been cultivating morels outdoors in the spring; however, yields are variable.[9] Morels must be cooked before eating.
  • Lentinula edodes, the Shiitake mushroom[8]
  • Auricularia heimuer, wood ear mushroom
  • Volvariella volvacea, the paddy straw mushroom or straw mushroom
  • Volvariella bombycina
  • Flammulina filiformis, the enoki mushroom, golden needle mushroom, seafood mushroom, lily mushroom, or winter mushroom
  • Flammulina velutipes
  • Tremella fuciformis, the snow fungus, snow ear, silver ear fungus and white jelly mushroom
  • Hypsizygus tessellatus, aka Hypsizygus marmoreus, the beech mushroom, also known in its white and brown varieties as Bunapi-shimeji and Buna-shimeji, respectively
  • Stropharia rugosoannulata, the wine cap mushroom, burgundy mushroom, garden giant mushroom or king stropharia
  • Cyclocybe aegerita, the pioppino, velvet pioppini, poplar or black poplar mushroom
  • Hericium erinaceus, the lion's mane, monkey head, bearded tooth, satyr's beard, bearded hedgehog, or pom pom mushroom.
  • Phallus indusiatus, the bamboo mushrooms, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady mushroom.

Commercially harvested wild fungi edit

Commercially cultivated Japanese edible mushroom species (clockwise from left): enokitake, buna-shimeji, bunapi-shimeji, king oyster mushroom and shiitake
  • Boletus edulis or edible Boletus, native to Europe, known in Italian as fungo porcino (plural 'porcini') (pig mushroom), in German as Steinpilz (stone mushroom), in Russian as Russian: Белый гриб, tr. Bely grib (white mushroom), in Albanian as (wolf mushroom), in French as the cèpe and in the UK as the penny bun. It is also known as the king bolete, and is renowned for its delicious flavor. It is sought after worldwide, and can be found in a variety of culinary dishes.
  • Boletus griseus
  • Boletus variipes
  • Boletus pinophilus
  • Calbovista subsculpta commonly known as the sculptured giant puffball is a common puffball of the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast ranges of western North America. The puffball is more or less round with a diameter of up to 15 cm (6 in), white becoming brownish in age, and covered with shallow pyramid-shaped plates or scales. It fruits singly or in groups along roads and in open woods at high elevations, from summer to autumn. It is considered a choice edible species while its interior flesh (the gleba) is still firm and white. As the puffball matures, its insides become dark brown and powdery from mature spores.
  • Calvatia gigantea the giant puffball. Giant puffballs are considered a choice edible species and are commonly found in meadows, fields, and deciduous forests usually in late summer and autumn. It is found in temperate areas throughout the world.[10] They can reach diameters up to 150 cm (60 in) and weights of 20 kg (45 lb). The inside of mature Giant puffballs is greenish brown, whereas the interior of immature puffballs is white. The large white mushrooms are edible when young.[11][12]
  • Cantharellus cibarius (the chanterelle), The yellow chanterelle is one of the best and most easily recognizable mushrooms and can be found in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. There are poisonous mushrooms that resemble it, though these can be confidently distinguished if one is familiar with the chanterelle's identifying features.
  • Craterellus tubaeformis, the tube chanterelle, yellow foot chanterelle or yellow-leg
  • Clitocybe nuda, blewit (or blewitt)
  • Cortinarius caperatus, the Gypsy mushroom
  • Craterellus cornucopioides, Trompette de la mort (trumpet of death) or horn of plenty
  • Grifola frondosa, known in Japan as maitake (also "hen of the woods" or "sheep's head"), a large, hearty mushroom commonly found on or near stumps and bases of oak trees, and believed to have Macrolepiota procera properties.
  • Hericium erinaceus, a tooth fungus; also called "lion's mane mushroom"
  • Hydnum repandum, sweet tooth fungus, hedgehog mushroom or hedgehog fungus, urchin of the woods
  • Lactarius deliciosus, saffron milk cap, consumed around the world and prized in Russia
  • Morchella species, (morel family) morels belong to the ascomycete grouping of fungi. They are usually found in open scrub, woodland or open ground in late spring. When collecting this fungus, care must be taken to distinguish it from the poisonous false morels, including Gyromitra esculenta. The morel must be cooked before eating.
  • Pleurotus species are sometimes commercially harvested despite the ease of cultivation.
  • Pleurotus ostreatus
  • Termitomyces species are symbiotes of termites and the mushrooms grow out of termite mounds. This genus includes the largest edible mushroom, Termitomyces titanicus, with a cap that averages 1 m in diameter,[14] though most species are much smaller. Research is underway to determine how to cultivate these mushrooms.[15]
  • Tricholoma matsutake, the matsutake, a mushroom highly prized in Japanese cuisine.
  • Tuber, species, (the truffle), Truffles have long eluded the modern techniques of domestication known as trufficulture. Although the field of trufficulture has greatly expanded since its inception in 1808, several species still remain uncultivated. Domesticated truffles include:

Other edible wild species edit

Auricularia auricula-judae
Lactarius salmonicolor

Conditionally edible species edit

A. muscaria, a conditionally-edible species

Cultivation edit

Mushroom cultivation has a long history, with over twenty species commercially cultivated. Mushrooms are cultivated in at least 60 countries.[22] A fraction of the many fungi consumed by humans are currently cultivated and sold commercially. Commercial cultivation is important ecologically, as there have been concerns of the depletion of larger fungi such as chanterelles in Europe, possibly because the group has grown popular, yet remains a challenge to cultivate.

Some mushrooms, particularly mycorrhizal species, have not yet been successfully cultivated.

In 2019, world production of commercial mushrooms and recorded truffle collection reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization was 11.9 million tonnes, led by China with 75% of the total:

Mushroom and truffle production – 2019
Country (millions of tonnes)
  China 8.94
  Japan 0.47
  United States 0.38
  Poland 0.36
  Netherlands 0.30
World 11.90
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations[23]

Safety concerns edit

Some wild species are toxic, or at least indigestible, when raw.[24] Failure to identify poisonous mushrooms and confusing them with edible ones has resulted in death.[24][25][26]

Deadly poisonous mushrooms that are frequently confused with edible mushrooms and responsible for many fatal poisonings include several species of the genus Amanita, particularly Amanita phalloides, the death cap. Some mushrooms that are edible for most people can cause allergic reactions in some individuals with no prior knowledge of an allergy; old or improperly stored specimens can go rancid quickly and cause food poisoning. Great care should therefore be taken when eating any fungus for the first time, and only small quantities should be consumed in case of individual allergies or reactions. Even normally edible species of mushrooms may be dangerous, as certain mushrooms growing in polluted locations can act as chemical-absorbers, accumulating pollutants and heavy metals, including arsenic and iron, sometimes in lethal concentrations.[27] On the other hand, some cooking preparations may reduce the toxicity of slightly poisonous mushrooms enough to be consumed as survival food.[citation needed]

Additionally, several varieties of fungi are known and documented to contain psychedelic drugs—the so-called magic mushrooms—yet resemble perfectly edible, non-psychoactive species. While not necessarily lethal to consume, to the uninitiated, an accidentally induced psychedelic experience can run the gamut from benign to terrifying, even depressing or psychotic. The most commonly consumed for recreational psychoactive use are Amanita muscaria (the fly agaric) and Psilocybe cubensis, with the former containing alkaloids such as muscimol and the latter predominately psilocybin. Both have the potential to induce in the user feelings of awe, wonder with nature, interesting visual hallucinations and inner peace (even in mild doses), but excessive or accidental consumption can create feelings of insanity, helplessness and fear, usually persisting for a few hours.

Nutrition edit

White mushrooms, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy117 kJ (28 kcal)
5.3 g
0.5 g
2.2 g
Vitamin A equiv.
0 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.1 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.3 mg
Niacin (B3)
4.5 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
2.2 mg
Vitamin B6
0.1 mg
Folate (B9)
18 μg
Vitamin B12
0 μg
19.9 mg
Vitamin D
21 IU
Vitamin E
0 mg
Vitamin K
0 μg
6 mg
0.5 mg
1.7 mg
12 mg
0.1 mg
87 mg
356 mg
13.4 μg
0.9 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water91.1 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Higher mushroom consumption has been associated with lower risk of breast cancer.[28] As of 2021, mushroom consumption has not been shown to conclusively affect risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.[29]

A commonly eaten mushroom is the white mushroom (Agaricus bisporus). In a 100-gram (3+12-ounce) reference serving, Agaricus mushrooms provide 92 kilojoules (22 kilocalories) of food energy and are 92% water, 3% carbohydrates, 3% protein, and 0.3% fat. They contain high levels of riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, with moderate content of phosphorus (see table). Otherwise, raw white mushrooms generally have low amounts of essential nutrients. Although cooking by boiling lowers mushroom water content only 1%, the contents per 100 grams for several nutrients increase appreciably, especially for dietary minerals.

The content of vitamin D is absent or low unless mushrooms are exposed to sunlight or purposely treated with artificial ultraviolet light, even after harvesting and processed into dry powder.[30][31]

Vitamin D edit

Name Chemical composition Structure
Vitamin D1 ergocalciferol with lumisterol, 1:1[32]
Vitamin D2 ergocalciferol (made from ergosterol)  
Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol (made from 7-Dehydrocholesterol in the skin).  

When exposed to UV light before or after harvest, mushrooms convert their large concentrations of ergosterol into vitamin D2.[30][31] This is similar to the reaction in humans, where vitamin D3 is synthesized after exposure to sunlight.

Testing showed an hour of UV light exposure before harvesting made a serving of mushrooms contain twice the FDA's daily recommendation of vitamin D. With 5 minutes of artificial UV light exposure after harvesting, a serving of mushrooms contained four times as much.[30] Analysis also demonstrated that natural sunlight produced vitamin D2.[31]

The form of vitamin D found in UV-irradiated mushrooms is ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2. This is not the same as cholecalciferol, called vitamin D3, which is produced by UV-irradiation of human or animal skin, fur, and feathers. Although vitamin D2 has vitamin-D activity in humans, and is widely used in food fortification and nutritional supplements, vitamin D3 is more commonly used in dairy and cereal products.

Uses edit

Edible mushrooms include many fungal species that are either harvested wild or cultivated. Easily cultivated and common wild mushrooms are often available in markets; those that are more difficult to obtain (such as the prized truffle, matsutake, and morel) may be collected on a smaller scale by private gatherers, and are sometimes available at farmers' markets or other local grocers. Mushrooms can be purchased fresh when in season, and many species are also sold dried.

Before assuming that any wild mushroom is edible, it should be correctly identified. Accurate determination of and proper identification of a species is the only safe way to ensure edibility, and the only safeguard against possible poisoning. Some edible species cannot be identified without the use of advanced techniques such as chemistry or microscopy.

History edit

Mycophagy /mˈkɒfəi/, the act of consuming mushrooms, dates back to ancient times. Edible mushroom species have been found in association with 13,000-year-old archaeological sites in Chile. Ötzi, the mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE in Europe, was found with two types of mushroom. The Chinese value mushrooms for their supposed medicinal properties as well as for food. Ancient Romans and Greeks, particularly the upper classes, used mushrooms for culinary purposes. Food tasters were employed by Roman emperors to ensure that mushrooms were safe to eat.[33]

Culinary edit

Cooking edit

Mushrooms may be cooked before consumption to improve texture and lower trace levels of toxic hydrazines. Frying, roasting, baking, and microwaving are all used to prepare mushrooms. Cooking lowers the amount of water present in the food. Mushrooms do not go mushy with long term cooking because the chitin that gives most of the structure to a mushroom does not break down until 400 °C (752 °F) which is not reached in any normal cooking.[citation needed]

Storage edit

Mushrooms will usually last a few days, longer if refrigerated. Mushrooms can be frozen, but are best cooked first. They can also be dried or pickled.

In traditional medicine edit

Medicinal mushrooms are mushrooms or extracts from mushrooms that are thought to be treatments for diseases, yet remain unconfirmed in mainstream science and medicine, and so are not approved as drugs or medical treatments.[34] Such use of mushrooms therefore falls into the domain of traditional medicine[35] for which there is no direct high-quality clinical evidence of efficacy.[36][37]

Preliminary research on mushroom extracts has been conducted to determine if anti-disease properties exist, such as for polysaccharide-K[38] or lentinan.[39] Some extracts have widespread use in Japan, Korea and China, as potential adjuvants for radiation treatments and chemotherapy.[40][41]

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ Mattila P, Suonpää K, Piironen V (2000). "Functional properties of edible mushrooms". Nutrition. 16 (7–8): 694–6. doi:10.1016/S0899-9007(00)00341-5. PMID 10906601.
  3. ^ Ole G. Mouritsen; Klavs Styrbaek (2014). Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste. Columbia University Press. pp. 11, 52, 110. ISBN 978-0-231-16890-8.
  4. ^ Paul Adams (24 November 2015). "Put the science of umami to work for you". Popular Science, Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Every Type Of Mushroom You Need To Know About". Huffingtonpost.com. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Common Types of Mushrooms". Realsimple.com. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  7. ^ "What's the Difference Between Cremini and Portobello Mushrooms?". Thekitchen.com. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Cultivation of Oyster Mushrooms". Extension.psu.edu. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b Alla Katsnelson (April 26, 2022). "Cultivating Coveted Morels Year-Round and Indoors". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  10. ^ "Calvatia gigantea (giant puffball)", Discover plants and fungi, www.kew.org, retrieved 8 August 2015
  11. ^ Arora, David (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. pp. 158–159. ISBN 978-0-89815-169-5.
  12. ^ Bessette, Alan E. (1997). Mushrooms of Northeastern North America. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. pp. 453–454. ISBN 978-0-8156-0388-7.
  13. ^ Weber, Nancy S. (1985). A field guide to southern mushrooms. Alexander H. Smith, Dan Guravich. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-85615-4. OCLC 10207909.
  14. ^ Pegler, D. N.; Piearce, G. D. (1980). "The Edible Mushrooms of Zambia". Kew Bulletin. 35 (3): 475. doi:10.2307/4110017. JSTOR 4110017.
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  16. ^ T. mesenterium was first reported in Great Britain after the wet August 2008: "New fungi species unearthed in UK". BBC News. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
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  20. ^ Nordisk Ministerråd (2012). Mushrooms Traded As Food. Vol ll Section 1: Nordic Risk Assessments and Background on Edible Mushrooms, Suitable for Commercial Marketing and Background Lists. For Industry, Trade and Food Inspection. Background Information and Guidance Lists on Mushrooms. Denmark: Nordic Council of Ministers. p. 50. ISBN 978-92-893-2383-3.
  21. ^ FDA IMPORT ALERT IA2502 Archived April 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ John Fereira. "U.S. Mushroom Industry". Usda.mannlib.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  23. ^ "Production of mushrooms and truffles in 2019, Crops/Regions/World list/Production Quantity (pick lists)". UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT). 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
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  25. ^ Barbee G, Berry-Cabán C, Barry J, Borys D, Ward J, Salyer S (2009). "Analysis of mushroom exposures in Texas requiring hospitalization, 2005–2006". Journal of Medical Toxicology. 5 (2): 59–62. doi:10.1007/BF03161087. PMC 3550325. PMID 19415588.
  26. ^ Osborne, Tegan (2016-02-03). "Deadly death cap mushrooms found in Canberra's inner-south as season begins early". ABC News. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  27. ^ Kalač, Pavel; Svoboda, Lubomír (15 May 2000). "A review of trace element concentrations in edible mushrooms". Food Chemistry. 69 (3): 273–281. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(99)00264-2.
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  29. ^ Krittanawong C, Isath A, Hahn J, Wang Z, Fogg SE, Bandyopadhyay D, Jneid H, Virani SS, Tang WH (2021). "Mushroom Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Systematic Review". Am J Med. 134 (5): 637–642. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.10.035. PMID 33309597. S2CID 229179866.
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  31. ^ a b c Koyyalamudi SR, Jeong SC, Song CH, Cho KY, Pang G (April 2009). "Vitamin D2 formation and bioavailability from Agaricus bisporus button mushrooms treated with ultraviolet irradiation". J Agric Food Chem. 57 (8): 3351–5. doi:10.1021/jf803908q. PMID 19281276.
  32. ^ Kalaras MD, Beelman RB, Holick MF, Elias RJ (2012). "Generation of potentially bioactive ergosterol-derived products following pulsed ultraviolet light exposure of mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)". Food Chem. 135 (2): 396–401. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.04.132. PMID 22868105.
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External links edit