Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Ultraviolet Flashes can Create Vitamin D-Enriched Mushrooms

Published: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Quick zaps of ultraviolet light can boost the vitamin D levels in mushrooms in seconds, turning the fungi into an even healthier food, according to Penn State food scientists.

Rapid pulses of ultraviolet light increased the level of vitamin D2 in a single serving of mushrooms from practically zero to more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of 600 IUs in under a second, said Robert Beelman, professor emeritus of food science and director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health. The treatment did not negatively affect the appearance or the taste of the mushrooms, he added.

"The scientific community is discovering that vitamin D has many more health benefits than just bone health, which it's primarily known for," said Beelman. "We know, for example, that it helps to regulate hundreds of genes."

Beelman also said that more nutritionists are investigating whether vitamin D can enhance sports performance. Researchers have already demonstrated that vitamin D supplements can improve the mobility of elderly people who, because they are vitamin D deficient, may be more at risk of falling, Beelman said.

Mushrooms are low in calories and considered a good source of vegetable proteins, potassium, fiber and essential minerals, such as selenium, according to the researchers. They are also the best dietary source of ergothioneine, an antioxidant that some researchers think is a potential new vitamin, according to Beelman.

The body naturally uses the ultraviolet light from the sun to convert cholesterol in the skin to create most of the vitamin D it needs for functions such as maintaining bone health and regulating the immune system.  Consumers also receive vitamin D from some food products, such as enriched milk and orange juice.

However, as more people work inside and use sunblock when they are outside, they receive less sunlight and have more of a chance to be vitamin D deficient, according to the researchers.

The researchers, who were awarded a patent for the method, focused an ultraviolet light that can flash high energy light waves several times a second onto the surface of the mushrooms. The pulsed light was able to rapidly convert the ergosterol in the mushrooms to vitamin D2 in less than a minute. The process of converting ergosterol to vitamin D2 is similar to how humans and animals can synthesize Vitamin D3 from cholesterol in the skin.

Beelman said vitamin D2 is practically the same as vitamin D3, and it is commonly used as a Vitamin D supplement.

Beelman said the pulsed ultraviolet light method is more efficient than other methods to boost vitamin D in mushrooms because it only takes a few seconds of the treatment to significantly increase the levels. In a previous method, another group of researchers used a constant stream of ultraviolet light over several hours to increase the vitamin D levels of mushrooms. However, this constant exposure to ultraviolet lighting darkened the appearance of the mushrooms, according to Beelman.

Pulsed light did not turn white mushrooms brown or cause other discolorations, which some consumers find undesirable, said Michael Kalaras, a postdoctoral fellow in food science, who worked with Beelman.

The vitamin D remained in the mushrooms even after a week in storage. The researchers treated both sliced and whole mushrooms. The Vitamin D levels of the sliced mushrooms were higher than the whole mushrooms, according to Kalaras.

"We are hoping that mushrooms that are treated with this technique could be a real benefit for human health by serving as an excellent source of vitamin D and especially as a source for persons who may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency," said Kalaras.

Even though it is possible to become sick from taking too much vitamin D, Beelman said that those levels are extremely high and people are unlikely to reach them accidentally.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Eggs from Small Flocks More Likely to Contain Salmonella
Penn State study suggests that eggs from small local enterprises are not safer to eat than “commercially produced” eggs.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
E. coli Thrive in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers have defined a fundamental mechanism through which the bacteria can thrive during IBD flare-ups.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Altered Milk Protein Can Deliver AIDS Drug to Infants
Binding with an antiretroviral drug promises to greatly improve treatment for infants and young children suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Study Suggests Dairy Herd Water Quality Linked to Milk Production
A recently completed study of water supplies on Pennsylvania dairy farms found that about a quarter of those tested had at least one water-quality issue.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Number of Foodborne Illness Cases Largely Unchanged in U.S.
Recently released reports about the frequency of foodborne illness show that the risks have not changed much in recent years, according to an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Latest Food Scare Avoided with Proper Handling and Cooking
Seems like every month there is a new food scare that makes the national news. Most recently, it was antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens found in pork.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Scientific News
Antibiotic Resistance Can Occur Naturally in Soil Bacteria
Scientists have found natural anti-biotic resistant bacteria in soils with little to no human exposure.
Eggs from Small Flocks More Likely to Contain Salmonella
Penn State study suggests that eggs from small local enterprises are not safer to eat than “commercially produced” eggs.
Using X-rays to Figure Out Fats
Scientists trying to replace food fats with non-saturated versions are looking to x-rays to aid them.
Feeding Babies Egg and Peanut May Prevent Food Allergy
The new analysis pools all existing data, and suggests introducing egg and peanut at an early age may prevent the development of allergy.
EFSA Completes Food Colour Re-evaulation
The re-evaluation of titanium dioxide marks the completion of the EFSA's re-evaluation of all food colours permitted for use in the EU before 2009.
Risks in Your Food
Researchers have developed a method to reliably detect allergenic substances in foods.
Dietary Selenium Content Linked to Cancer
Researchers have shown higher blood selenium levels are associated with reduced liver cancer risk.
Sensor Could Help Fight Bacterial Infections
The sensor can detect E.coli bacteria in 15-20 minutes over a wide temperature range, offering a fast and cost effective tests.
Chemical in Plastics Linked to Genital Abnormalities
Researchers have linked an endocrine-disrupting chemical to reproductive organ abnormalities in children.
Sharks Contain High Levels of Neurotoxins Linked to Alzheimer’s
Research team suggests restricting shark consumption to protect human health as shark fins & meat contain high levels of neurotoxins.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!