Volume 16 Part 1 Article 51: Cultural Factors Affecting Mushroom Quality¿Cause and Control of Bruising

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 51
Year 2004
Title: Cultural Factors Affecting Mushroom Quality Cause and Control of Bruising
Author: K.S. Burton


Quality is an important factor enabling mushrooms to compete with other vegetables and fruits and to maintain the status of a high-value crop. Mushroom quality can be lost after harvest as a result of biochemical degradative processes under genetic control, and improper handling during harvest, packaging and transport. In the latter case, loss of quality is largely the result of bruising, initiated by mechanical damage leading to the oxidation of natural phenols catalyzed by the enzymes, tyrosinase and polyphenol oxidase. The results of a biomechanical study have shown that bruising is largely found in the surface layer of hyphae and is caused by the mechanical damage process known as ‘slip-shear’. However, cultural practices are known to affect the bruisability of mushrooms, since the degree can vary from crop to crop and even within a crop. For this reason, a mushroom bruisometer was designed to deliver controllable and uniform slip-shear force onto the surface of a mushroom. Data will be presented from experiments assessing the effects of cultural treatments, such as watering, humidity, calcium chloride, casing and compost composition, on bruisability.

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