Volume 12 Part 1 Article 28: The Quality and Storage Life of Agaricus bisporus

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 28
Year 1989
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.

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