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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.433 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v4.i2.100
6 pages

Growing High-Selenium Edible and Medicinal Button Mushrooms ( Agaricus bisporus (J. Lge) Imbach) as Ingredients for Functional Foods or Dietary Supplements

Andrew R. Werner
116D Borland Laboratory, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, USA
Robert B. Beelman
Department of Food Science, 116D Borland Laboratory, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802-4507, USA


In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of functional foods and nutraceuticals, and create new market niches for mushrooms, the objective of this study was to develop a method to grow high-selenium mushrooms containing at least 1200 ppm (d.w.) that could function as a new organic selenium source to be used as ingredients in functional foods or in the manufacture of dietary supplements. Selenium was added to the compost by addition of different amounts of sodium selenite to a commercial compost supplement added at spawning to Agaricus bisporus (J. Lge) Imbach mushrooms grown in deep bags. Selenium concentrations added to the compost were from 30 to 300 ppm (d.w.). Selenium uptake by the mushrooms increased in a linear response to the level of selenium added to the compost, but decreased significantly with each flush of the crop cycle. The lower portion of the curve could be expanded and used by commercial growers to produce mushrooms with desired selenium concentrations up to 100% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of selenium in a serving (about 10 ppm). Mushrooms containing at least 20% of the U.S. RDA could be marketed as an excellent source of dietary selenium, but enriching to levels above that for direct human consumption is not currently advisable. The upper level of selenium (about 1300 ppm) achieved in this study would be comparable to high-selenium yeast that is commonly used in production of selenium mineral supplements. There was a significant negative relationship on crop yield (up to 33% reduction) with A. bisporus at higher selenium levels, but this occurred only at levels significantly exceeding what would be used by growers to produce A. bisporus for direct consumer consumption. These results indicate the possibility of a market niche for selenium-enriched A. bisporus and other mushroom species that could be used as a new selenium source in dietary supplements or as a value-added ingredient for the formulation of functional foods or nutraceuticals.

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