The most mushrooms are commonly cooked before being consumed but scientists from Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja (CTICH) studied different cooking methods like boiling, microwaving, grilling and frying and found out that the second one is the best in terms of proximate composition and antioxidant capacity of most cultivated mushrooms worldwide. Next comes grilling.
Mushrooms are have a significant amount of dietary fiber, betaglucans and are poor in calories and fat. Moreover, they have a good protein content (20-30% of dry matter) which includes most of the essential amino acids; also provide a nutritionally significant content of vitamins (B1, B2, B12, C, D and E) and trace minerals such as zinc or selenium.
The study 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 but a significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached higher values of antioxidant activity.
“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” says Irene Roncero, one of the researchers.
Adding a little oil portion while grilling mushrooms is not a problem, he says. “This minimal amount will not cause nutrient loses 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 study was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.