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Nature Green, organic shiitake producer from Ukraine

Nature Green, organic shiitake producer from Ukraine
© Nature Green

 

Nature Green has recently established in Ukraine, in order to grow organic Shiitake mushrooms. “From the beginning, we have been focused on the production of premium quality organic mushrooms,” said Peter Sutherland, Sales Manager.

“We make our own first-class substrate in house to keep a consistent high-quality harvest, to do this we use the best organic raw materials, advanced techniques and cutting-edge equipment in our facility.” The production is certified with Organic Standards & Global Gap, ISO 22000:2005 and 9001:2015.

Currently they supply shiitake to the local market and export to Europe. The farm is located in a great location the city of Uzhhorod, situated on the western border of Ukraine to the Hungarian, Slovakian & Polish borders. This allows them to efficiently deliver freshness in their mushrooms, they can have delivery’s in any European country within 2 to 4 days.

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Gulf Mushroom Company, the largest high-tech farm in the Middle East

Gulf Mushroom Company, the largest high-tech farm in the Middle East

Gulf Mushroom is an Omani company established in 1997. It is the largest farm in the Middle East that produces, packs and exports up to 15 tons of fresh mushrooms per day.

The company’s assortment is very large, such as Portobello, Brown Champignons mushrooms, White Button, Baby mushrooms. They also produce Oyster & Shitake mushrooms. “We export 80% of our products to GCC countries, and Far East markets etc.,” says Ibrahim Jamil Al-Rawahi, executive marketing manager. “We not only sell the mushrooms, we also promote them widely, because it is an extremely healthy product, and we want to create the awareness of the consumers and arouse their interest in it.”

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Mushroom companies seeking innovation

Edward Vonk on Banken Champignons Group stand at Fruit Logistica 2020 // © Eurofresh Distribution

 

The Western European market is eating less meat and vegan options are gaining traction. With this, the interest in mushrooms as protein-rich alternatives is also growing.  Banken Champignons, a proud Dutch mushroom specialist, is continuously pushing new ways to prepare mushrooms, working together with Westland Mushrooms to release innovative products such as cordyceps and pulled mushrooms.

 

cordyceps Mushroom - credit. Banken Champignons Group

© Banken Champignons Group

 

Under the same holding company as Banken Champignons Group, Banken Champignons is working together with Westland Mushrooms to launch cordyceps, its latest cultivations in the line of exotic mushrooms. Westland is a specialist in exotic mushrooms with its main market in the food service industry, while Banken Champignons is focused on the consumer and retail market as well as the food service industry. These innovative products have been launched in Spain and in Western Europe.

Made from smoked oyster mushrooms, pulled mushrooms are able to mimic the look and taste of pulled pork. The product was first launched in Western Europe and the Scandinavian region in January 2020. “Pulled Mushrooms are one of the many innovative products offered by our company. Our goal is to make preparations faster and easier for our consumers,” said Edward Vonk, marketing manager of Banken Champignons.

Pulled Mushroom - credit. Banken Champignons Group

© Banken Champignons Group

The growing concern for the environment now puts sustainability at the forefront of business initiatives and Banken Champignons sees sustainability in product packaging as a priority. As such, the company has developed new packaging made of cardboard which, in time, will replace plastic for all its retail goods.

Established in 1955 in the Netherlands, Banken Champignons Group extends its passion for mushrooms to consumers through innovative and exotic options. The company specialises in sourcing, producing, and packing a wide variety of mushrooms, and selling ready-to-eat options for consumers, such as the meal kits introduced in 2015 which contain mushroom varieties for different types of cooking /dishes. ‘The mushrooms to combine’ kits, which include Mushrooms for Pasta and Mushrooms for Meat versions, are aimed at introducing consumers to the various mushroom varieties and providing guidance in the preparation.

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Green light for UV-treated mushrooms

Experts say access to dietary vitamin D is crucial In sunlight-starved regions, yet very few foods are naturally rich in this vitamin, which among other things is needed for strong bones and teeth, and even heart health. Wild mushrooms can be a good source of vitamin D2 but until recently their commercial cousins – usually grown and sold indoors – were not.

Ultraviolet-treated mushrooms with increased vitamin D have been given the okay to be placed on the EU market under the EU’s novel food regulation.

The ruling came after a novel food application last year by Ireland’s Monaghan Middlebrook Mushrooms.

In a letter earlier this year to the company, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said no reasoned objections were raised by the European Commission or Member States within the 60 day comment period on the application.

Pat O’Mahony, the authority’s chief specialist in food technology, also said in the letter, however, that comments were provided and clarifications sought by Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK. He said the company had responded to the comments and provided clarifications.

The following conditions apply to the approval for the use of UV-treated mushrooms:

  • The EU market approval applies to commercially grown Agaricus bisporus.
  • UV light treatment is applied to harvested mushrooms yielding a vitamin D content of up to and including μ10g/100g fresh weight.
  • In accordance with of Annex VI (Part A, 1) of EU Regulation 1169/2011, product labels will indicate that a controlled light treatment was used to increase vitamin D levels.

Benefits of Vitamin D-enriched mushrooms

Experts say access to dietary vitamin D is crucial In sunlight-starved regions, yet very few foods are naturally rich in this vitamin, which among other things is needed for strong bones and teeth, and even heart health. Wild mushrooms can be a good source of vitamin D2 but until recently their commercial cousins – usually grown and sold indoors – were not.

‘Vitamin D mushrooms’ were already on sale in supermarkets in countries including the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada last year.

According to the Australian Mushroom Growers Association, mushrooms naturally contain ergosterol, which is a precursor to vitamin D. When exposed to any source of ultraviolet (UV) light e.g. sunlight or fluorescent light, ergosterol is converted to ergocalciferol (commonly known as vitamin D2).

Regular commercially grown mushrooms which are not specifically subjected to UV light contain moderate levels of vitamin D. Exposing these mushrooms to 1-2 seconds of UV light after harvesting increases vitamin D content while retaining the remaining nutrients and appearance of the mushrooms.

 

 

 

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Innovation award win for Ecopouch mushrooms

Innoval is a major showcase at the Alimentaria where innovations in the food and drinks industry from the participating companies are presented.

Ecopouch, a range of mushrooms cooked and packaged in their own juices with no additives or salt, has won the Innoval Award for Best International Innovation at Alimentaria 2016 for Dutch company Scelta Mushrooms.

The mushrooms can be stored for a long time and their juice makes the perfect 100% natural base for stocks and sauces, according to organisers of the international food and drinks exhibition, which ran April 25-28 in Barcelona

In a press release, Scelta Mushrooms said its Ecopouch mushrooms are produced via a unique procedure. After being packed, the mushrooms are boiled in their own juice. “The result are shelf stable sliced mushrooms with a fresh taste and texture.”

Innoval is a major showcase at the Alimentaria where innovations in the food and drinks industry from the participating companies are presented. The Innoval awards were presented on April 26.

Another of the 16 Innoval Awards 2016, that for Dry, Dehydrated, Canned and Semi-Preserved Food, went to the company Aneto Natural for a purifying salt-free artichoke stock based on 100% fresh organic vegetables which helps to cleanse and purify the body.

Garden Gourmet, a brand of vegetarian dishes made from a careful blend of wheat and soy proteins, won the award in the Fresh and Refrigerated Non-Dairy Products category.

The Trend Award for Health and Assurance went to the company Girona Noel Alimentaria for its range of sliced meat-free sausages made using egg white as the protein base and ideal for vegetarian consumers looking for an alternative to meat in their diet.

Read about the other winners here: ORGANIC VERMOUTH WINS ALIMENTARIA INNOVAL AWARDS

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Green light for brown-resistant GMO mushroom

Researcher Yinong Yang used the gene-editing tool CRISPR–Cas9 to give white button mushrooms an anti-browning trait that improves appearance and shelf life, as well as facilitating automated mechanical harvesting.

A white button mushroom genetically modified so it turns brown more slowly – thus having a longer shelf life – is on track to being sold in the United States.

And the fact that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said it won’t regulate the mushroom as it does other genetically engineered (GE) modified organisms is seen as paving the way to the market for many more such products.

The anti-browning trait in this particular mushroom was introduced via science’s hot new tool CRISPR–Cas9, a promising but controversial gene-editing technique. Unlike some other forms of genetic modification, CRISPR does not introduce any foreign genetic material, it modifies pre-existing genes. In this case, Penn State University researcher Yinong Yang used it to provide an anti-browning trait that improves appearance and shelf life, as well as facilitating automated mechanical harvesting, in the common white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus).

In a letter to Dr Yang, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is responsible for regulating certain GE organisms that are or could be plant pests, noted the mushrooms don’t contain introduced genetic material and are unlikely to be plant pests and thus won’t be subject to this regulation. They may, however, be subject to control by other regulatory authorities such as the FDA or EPA, it said.

According to Billy Roberts from market intelligence agency Mintel, the mushrooms demonstrate the speed of advancements in the genetic modification arena, while also providing a serious challenge to regulatory agencies, and could change the GMO debate in the US. Roberts said research shows consumers want to know if foods have GM ingredients and significant numbers indicate that they seek GMO-free claims on foods they buy.

Read more about this issue:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/18/why-this-genetically-modified-mushroom-is-bypassing-usda-regulation/
http://www.nature.com/news/gene-edited-crispr-mushroom-escapes-us-regulation-1.19754

Also see: Cucumbers that stay green longer

Image of Agaricus bisporus Zuchtchampignon by Böhringer Friedrich (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Limit proposed for lead in mushrooms

The EWG recommends that the Committee consider establishing an ML for lead in fungi and mushrooms (excluding dried fungi and mushroom and fungus products) of 0.3 mg/kg.

The maximum level (ML) for lead in fresh mushrooms would be set at 0.3 mg/kg under a recommendation to a FAO WHO Codex Alimentarius committee.

An electronic working group established by the Committee on Contaminants in Foods advises considering that limit in its report on proposed draft revisions of MLs for lead in various food products, including fruit juices and canned fruits and vegetables.

In its report, released in February, the group referred to analysis of a dataset comprised of about 600 samples of fresh fungi and mushrooms from 11 countries.

“For fresh fungi and mushrooms, 99 percent of the samples in the 2016 dataset may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.5 mg/kg, 97 percent of samples may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.4 or 0.3 mg/kg, and 92 percent of samples may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.2 mg/kg. Thus, lowering the ML to the hypothetical level of 0.3 mg/kg would eliminate 3 percent of the samples in international trade and lowering the ML to the hypothetical level of 0.2 mg/kg would eliminate 8 percent of the samples in international trade. The EWG recommends that the Committee consider establishing an ML for lead in fungi and mushrooms (excluding dried fungi and mushroom and fungus products) of 0.3 mg/kg,” it said.

The current version of the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed excludes fungi and mushrooms from the 0.05 mg/kg standard for lead in fruiting vegetables.

The next session of the Committee on Contaminants in Foods is to be held in Rotterdam this April 4-8.

Source: PROPOSED DRAFT REVISION OF MAXIMUM LEVELS FOR LEAD IN SELECTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (FRESH AND PROCESSED) IN THE GENERAL STANDARD FOR CONTAMINANTS AND TOXINS IN FOOD AND FEED (CODEX STAN 193-1995)