Washington: Instead of boiling or deep frying mushrooms, you may want to cook them in a microwave or grill them to maintain its nutritional value, a recent study has revealed.
The findings indicated that when mushrooms were microwaved or grilled, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly and there are no significant losses in nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms.
Author Irene Roncero from Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja (CTICH) said that frying and boiling treatments produced more severe losses in proteins and antioxidants compounds, probably due to the leaching of soluble substances in the water or in the oil, which may significantly influence the nutritional value of the final product.
Roncero further explained that this minimal amount will not cause nutrient losses by leaching; in fact, the antioxidant capacity can be even improved. Moreover, if olive oil is used, the fatty acid profile of the final preparation is enhanced with barely increase in the calorie content.
The team evaluated the influence of different cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, grilling and frying) on proximate composition, betaglucans content and antioxidant activity of four cultivated mushrooms species.
The study was conducted on - Agaricus bisporus (white button mushroom), Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) and Pleurotus eryngii (king oyster mushroom).
After the cooking process, raw and cooked mushrooms were then freeze-dried, and the proximate composition and the antioxidant activity were analysed.
The results revealed that frying induced more severe losses in protein, ash and carbohydrates content but increased the fat and energy. Boiling improved the total glucans content by enhancing the betaglucans fraction.
A significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity especially after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached higher values of antioxidant activity.
The research is published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.