Mushrooms can keep the Doctor far far away
By PUNYA KUSHALAPPA

The use of mushroom for human consumption is probably as old as man himself. Nearly 20,000 valid varieties of edible mushrooms have been identified and 25 of them have been accepted widely as favourite food item. The edible mushroom have attracted the mushroom hunters due to their flavor palatability and nutritive value. 

CULTIVATION : 

Mushrooms were first cultivated in France in 1650.The cultivation of mushrooms in the USA was first introduced in the later part of the 19th century. " VALVARIELLA DPLASIA" variety has become the most vital choice in India. Sir. David in 1908 initiated a thorough enquiry into the possibilities of mushroom industry in India. In India commercial cultivation is extended to three varieties of mushrooms namely Button mushrooms, Paddy mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms. Button mushrooms grow in open fields and are usually found in September and October. They are basically found in groups ore circles. This is cultivated in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Bangalore and Nilgiris.

These are grown in synthetic compost under strict hygienic conditions. They come up six weeks after spacing and continue to crop for two months.The flesh is fairly tender and has excellent flavor. Oyster mushrooms grow in the limbs and trunks. Its tough consistency is similar to that of meat, it has a pleasant flavor and is rich in calories and proteins. Straw mushrooms grow in the tropical climatic regions of the South East Asia on paddy straw. The large scale cultivation of this mushroom has been taken up in Delhi, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Mysore.

NUTRIENTS IN MUSHROOM :

Mushrooms are potential sources of nutrients. They can convert nutritionally valueless substances into high fat and protein food. Mushroom proteins are comparable to muscle protein in nutritive value. Being a good source of Vitamins and proteins it is considered to be a distinct food. The digestibility of proteins in these is 72% - 83%. 

CONSUMPTION PATTERNS :

A study on the consumption pattern of mushroom in Coimbatore has been undertaken. 

* The study proved that people spent more on mushrooms then on pulses and vegetables.
* It was also clear that most of the people have been using mushrooms for the past 8 years.
* The various methods for cooking included boiling, deep fat frying, shallow fat frying and steaming.
* The main preservation method is refrigeration and some even use lime water and salt solution.
* The nutritional analysis of the Button mushroom was showed that they contain 3.85mg protein and 5mg of iron, 22mg of calcium. 80 mg of phosphorus. 8.4mg of vitamins C per 100 gm of sample.
* The study reveals that an adult meets 7.7% of his protein requirement. 16.6% of iron requirement  and 12% of Vitamine C requirement from 100Gms of MUSHROOMS everyday.


Thus in general all families like making mushrooms as a part of the daily diet. Nutritionally too it was found that they contribute significant amount of nutrients and help meet the required allowance of nutrients.

Since the usage of mushrooms is increased day by day, the production rate may also be increased in the state to meet the demand. As of now the daily production of MUSHROOM in Coimbatore is 1000KG and the rate of the consumption of mushroom allover the world is quite satisfactory. It is higher 
in West Germany. In Australia nearly 30% of the population use mushrooms in their daily diet.

PUNYA KUSHALAPPA,
1st B.A., S.D.M. College,
UJIRE.


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