QUALITY CHANGES OF MUSHROOMS DURING STORAGE
Fresh mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) lack the protective cuticle and carbohydrate reserves that allow many harvested plant products to stay fresh during storage. This means that mushrooms deteriorate rapidly after harvest. Good quality mushrooms are white and firm, with a closed cap and pink gills. As they deteriorate, their caps become discoloured, they soften and their gills open and darken. It has been suggested that mushroom flush number may be one factor affecting how quickly this deterioration occurs. To investigate the effect of flush, mushrooms from the first, second and third flushes were stored at six temperatures between 0-26°C. Changes in cap and gill colour and firmness were measured at each temperature. The appearance of blotches, and the rate of oxygen consumption were also recorded. It was found that quality factors did not change at the same rate at all temperatures, or for all flushes. Calculations of the end of storage life therefore differed according to the quality parameter, which was used. Overall, flush 2 mushrooms stored better than those from flushes 1 and 3. However, each flush had different storage characteristics. The O2 consumption did not vary between flushes, but increased exponentially with temperature. The implications of this work for the treatment and handling of fresh mushrooms are discussed.
Jacobsson, A., Bower, J. and Amos, N. (2001). QUALITY CHANGES OF MUSHROOMS DURING STORAGE. Acta Hortic. 553, 745-748
Agaricus bisporus, flush, colour, firmness, blotch