Volume 12 Part 1 Article 28
Title: The Quality and Storage Life of Agaricus bisporus
Author: K.S. Burton
Most fresh horticultural crops have limited storage-lives, for mushrooms it is very short, 1-3 days at 18°C. Mushroom storage-life is the duration of time between harvest and the time when quality has fallen to an unacceptable level. The factors which determine mushroccn quality are perceived by the consumer. A recent survey of consumer attitudes to good mushroons reveals these factors as freshness, whiteness, cleanness, uniformity, developmental stage, flavour and firmness (Berendse 1984). Changes in these factors lead to a loss of consumer acceptability. Developmental stage refers to the grade of mushrooms, ‘buttons’ , ‘closed cups’, ‘open cups’, ‘flats’. Generally in the U.K., the least developed stage, the buttxin has the highest quality rating. However, there is a small market for high quality ‘flats’. Mushroom quality is affected by pre-harvest growing tecViniques, strains, handling damage and storage environment.
In this paper, I shall report on the physiological processes which influence the quality and stxirage of fresh mushrooms. The technologies available for extending storage-life and conserving quality will be reviewed. Finally the future prospects and problems of developing new high quality mushrocm strains by conventional breeding or by using biotechnology will be discussed.Please login to download the PDF for this proceeding.