Explore the benefits of oyster mushrooms

2019-07-10 06:01
Get a 250g punnet of oyster mushrooms from the Umvoti Aids Centre.photo: supplied

Get a 250g punnet of oyster mushrooms from the Umvoti Aids Centre.photo: supplied

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FOOD security has been a prominent programme at the Umvoti Aids Centre for many years now.

It was a visit by the Honourable MEC of Agriculture and Development that opened the doors for oyster mushrooms.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development continues to support our food security project and for that we are grateful.

We harvest mushrooms every other day so they are as fresh as can be. We sell a 250g punnet for R10.

Oyster mushrooms can be easily identified by their grey-white, oyster-shell shaped cap which is attached to a thick, firm stem.

Their under surface features highly defined gills which run right from the edge of cap up to the middle of the stalk.

Caps measure about five to 15cm in diameter and the stem is five to 10cm in length.

Oyster mushroom are unique in being the only edible saprophytic fungus (preying on certain nematodes and insects from which it gets nitrogen to flourish). In their natural habitat, oyster mushroom grow on dead and decaying logs and on living tree trunks of coniferous and beech trees.

Oyster mushroom cultivation under supervised farms has revolutionised its continuous supply to the ever-increasing consumer demands. Any kind of sawdust and agriculture-waste that is rich in lignin and cellulose can become a suitable substrate for its cultivation and fruit bodies appear about 25 days after spawn inoculation.

Oyster mushroom contains a HMG-CoA reductase enzyme inhibitor substance called statin.

Certain protein polysaccharides in the oyster mushroom have been found to have anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-soft tissue tumour, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive effects in experimental animal studies.

Oyster mushroom carry relatively high amounts of good quality protein compared to other cultivated mushrooms.

Fresh mushroom is an excellent source of folic acid.

Furthermore, oyster mushroom contain ample concentrations of other B-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, etc.

Minerals such as copper, iron, phosphorus are present in moderate levels in this mushroom.

Oyster mushrooms are modest sources of vitamin D (ergo-calciferol) at 29 µg per 100g (seven percent of DA) — Vitamin D plays a vital role in the calcium and phosphate metabolism.

For further information, please contact Nduduzo Dlamini for any enquiries at 033 413 2745/6 and 064 876 9602.

— Supplied.

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