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Thread: Fungi

  1. #221
    Morel compass – John Cage’s mania for mushrooms

    It was a love originally born out of necessity. John Cage turned up in northern California, broke, in the winter of 1934. He was foraging: for a job, firstly, but also for mushrooms to keep himself nourished, consulting field guides in the local library to check whether his discoveries were edible. So began a lifelong obsession for Cage, a fascination that blooms like a series of deeply networked mycological spores through the avant-garde composer’s life and work.

  2. #222
    Asia Fruit Logistica to take place fully virtual

    Asia Fruit Logistica will not be held in physical form this year. Instead, the organization is moving to a new digital format in November 2020. It will be called Asia Fruit Logistica ON and it aims to give the thousands of exhibitors and visitors that would normally attend in physical form a platform for them to connect, do business and to continue to grow their business in Asia this season.

  3. #223
    'Shroom with a view: Giant glowing mushrooms to transform Hamilton's Garden Place into an after-dark wonderland

    An interactive, glowing, fungi-themed installation is set to bring delight to families from Friday evening until October 9 – by which time Covid-19 will have hopefully been again banished from these shores.

    Shrooms, designed by the Sydney-based lighting and design studio Amigo and Amigo feature more than a dozen inflatable, illuminated mushrooms, some up to six metres in height.

    The arrival and funding of the fungi was an initiative of Boon After Dark, an offshoot of the Boon Hamilton Street Art Festival that has been enlivening the city’s walls in recent years.

  4. #224
    Mushroom volume rebuilding after pandemic-related shortages

    Industrial and shelf-stable mushroom items, such as individually quick frozen, and Champ’s microwaveable Minute Mushrooms continue to see an uptick in demand.

    “Our restaurant business dropped 95% for the first two months.” In mid-July, business was slowly rebuilding.

    Retail sales for mushrooms have been strong

    Organic mushroom sales have increased as well as demand for packaged retails units

  5. #225
    Bioluminescent Honey Mushroom mycelium used as a book light

  6. #226
    MycoTechnology Raises $39M for Mushroom-Based Functional Ingredients Platform

    American food tech company MycoTechnology has raised $39m to help it build its functional ingredients platform. The company is best known for its use of mycelia, or mushroom roots.

    Tyson Ventures, Kellogg’s investment arm Eighteen94 Capital, Greenleaf Foods, and S2G Ventures were among those who participated in the Series D funding round.

    MycoTechnology produces a range of functional ingredients described as “better-for-you”. The most successful are ClearTaste, which masks bitter tastes, and its PureTaste plant protein. The latter, which is 77 percent protein, is made from pea and rice protein fermented by shiitake mycelia. It can be used in meat alternatives, snack bars, dairy alternatives, and baked goods.

    ClearTaste is most often used in products sweetened with stevia to mask the aftertaste. This has allowed some companies to dramatically cut down on the amount of sugar they use. It is also used in CBD products, coffee, and chocolate, and can help to reduce the bitter taste in low-sodium products made with potassium chloride.

    Mycoprotein, or protein made from mushrooms, is on the rise worldwide. The world’s first large-scale mycoprotein facility was announced in May of this year, and a paper published in February found that it is a highly sustainable meat substitute. Swedish startup Mycorena also recently raised €1.2m to scale its fungi-based protein ingredient.

  7. #227

    The eight books below explore the Fungi Kingdom, sketch out its relationship to the human world, and reveal its paramount significance to life on this zany planet.

  8. #228
    The future is fungal: why the 'megascience' of mycology is on the rise

    The study of fungi has long been overshadowed by more glamorous scientific quests. But biologist Merlin Sheldrake is on a mission to change that

  9. #229
    Livestreams see edible fungi sales mushroom

    The introduction of livestream sales of agricultural produce has given new impetus to the development of Jinmi, which will provide more opportunities for the produce to go global.

    Zhao Shaokang, CEO of Qinling Tianxia, said the company has earned 6 million yuan from livestream sales of black fungus since the start of the year.

    The livestreams allow vendors to amass about 300 orders a day, amounting to 6,000 yuan to 8,000 yuan, and fungi and related produce can be sold nationwide.

    "The goal of our livestreaming sales is to see more of our produce sold in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in the near future," Zhao said.

  10. #230
    Croatian Scientists Prove Mushrooms Help Stop Colon Cancer

    The team of Croatian scientists' published results prove that extracts from a medicinal fungus stop tumours growing, spreading and help chemotherapy.

    The team, led by Boris Jakopović (Dr Myko San, Croatia), presented the results of effects on colon cancer by a complex series of extracts from the Agarikon.1 medicinal mushroom. They proved that the extracts strongly inhibit the growth of existing tumours and prevent the spreading of the disease. Boris Jakopović has been testing the effectiveness of medicinal mushrooms on cancer for several years.

  11. #231
    Mushrooms strong despite loss of foodservice in pandemic

    Despite the bottom dropping out of the restaurant industry as businesses closed in response to the spread of the coronavirus this spring, mushroom companies saw volume drop just 2% for the year that ended June 30.

    The U.S. Department reports that 816, 367 pounds of mushrooms were shipped for the year ending in June, and the value of sales rose 3%, to $1.15 billion. The department released its annual reported Aug. 31.

    The average price for agaricus (including white buttons) and specialty mushrooms was $1.41 per pound, a 7-cent increase from the previous season.

    “After the initial shock to retail supply chains, mushroom demand from retailers increased,” according to a news release from the American Mushroom Institute, Avondale, Pa. “Consumers adhering to stay-at-home orders were left to consume more meals at home, which included fresh mushrooms.

  12. #232
    Fungi ingredients shaping up to be big winners in 2020, market snapshot reveals

    Medicinal fungi ingredients could be among the biggest winners in the new retail landscape of the dietary supplement industry, according to new data published by the American Botanical Council.

  13. #233

  14. #234
    Demand for mushrooms on the rise during pandemic

    The Fresh Mushroom Attitudes & Behaviors During COVID-19 survey of 750 shoppers conducted in April revealed that 25 percent of consumers are planning to cook more with fresh mushrooms “after things get back to normal.” An additional 63 percent plan to cook “about the same.”

    “While grocers are currently experiencing this increased demand, it’s probable these new consumer preferences will also carry over to foodservice as restaurants reopen,” Lang said. “We also explored the many reasons why consumers are purchasing more mushrooms and what they are doing with them. Mushrooms’ adaptability and health benefits lead the way.”

    As consumers increased their mushroom purchases since the health crisis began, they are including them in an array of mealtimes and dishes, such as pasta (46 percent), pizzas (44 percent), salads (34 percent), omelets (33 percent) and with chicken (32 percent).

    When given the question about why they are utilizing more fresh mushrooms, versatility is king: with 38 percent of respondents noting they feel mushrooms “can be used in many ways” and 47 percent answering that mushrooms “go with what I’m cooking.”

    Preferred varieties have remained consistent prior to March, with new data showing white button (57 percent), portabella (36 percent), baby bella (26 percent), brown button (21 percent) and shiitake (17 percent) as the most prominent.

    “Overall, this survey finds that mushrooms meet consumers where they are as they find themselves cooking at home more,” Lang concluded. “Whether it’s extending meals, boosting vitamin intake, or because a recipe calls for them, mushrooms are certainly the answer for many consumers.”

    He believes this increased interest and experiences with mushrooms from home cooking should also translate into increased preferences and orders for mushrooms in foodservice and restaurants as these come back online.

    “Mushrooms have realized tremendous momentum at retail this year, and we think it is a variety of factors converging at the same time,” Davis said. “Consumers are more interested than ever in plant-forward and plant-based dishes, and mushrooms are a meaty, crave-able ingredient that adds a tremendous amount of flavor.”

  15. #235
    Mushroom Buildings? The Possibilities of Using Mycelium in Architecture

    Fungi are everywhere. In the air, in the water, in our bodies, in the trees, in the ceilings of our bathrooms, underground. They can be mushrooms (edible, medicinal, hallucinogenic, or very poisonous), or take other simpler forms, such as molds. They can trigger illnesses, but they can also produce antibiotic remedies, such as penicillin, or help ferment amazing cheeses and breads. Could they also be the future of packaging and building materials?

  16. #236
    Can French pharmacists advise on edible/poisonous mushrooms?

    In theory, yes, and the service is free. In practice, not all are equally competent. There are 35,000 kinds of mushroom in France and no pharmacist will know them all. However, all pharmacists should, in theory at least, be familiar with those that grow in their area and that are dangerous.

    The time given over to teaching the topic is said to have been reducing in many university pharmacy courses. Also, for some pharmacists, their university days may be long ago and they may not have kept up their interest in the topic. Local mushroom societies (sociétés mycologiques) organise training sessions but on a voluntary basis.

  17. #237
    'EU fruit & vegetable sector managed to absorb shock of first Covid-wave thanks to producer organizations'

    Yesterday, the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and rural development organised a hearing on the lessons learned during the first wave of the COVID crisis.

    For Luc Vanoirbeek, chairman of the Working Party Fruit and Vegetables at Copa-Cogeca, if the fruit and vegetable sector resisted and adapted to fast changing conditions, it has been mainly due to the support of producer organisations, mainly cooperatives. A fact that should be acknowledged, explained and further supported.

    For Luc Vanoirbeek, the policy lesson that should be learnt from this first wave is clear, “The reaction capacity and resilience of the fruit and vegetable sector is largely based on its ability to work together. Fruit and vegetable producer organisations that have been established with the support of the Common Agricultural Policy play a central role and need to continue to be the cornerstone of the support to fruit and vegetable sector in the Common Agriculture Policy for the period after 2020. It is time to bet on policies that stimulate and prioritize efforts to concentrate more supply, as cooperatives.”.

    Considering the role played by the European Commission during the crisis, Luc Vanoirbeek believes that the Commission reacted fast and quite adequately by giving guidelines to keep the single market open and took relevant decisions to avoid extra threats related to the free movement for seasonal workers and essential goods such as packaging.

  18. #238
    Mushroom sales continue to fly

    Mushrooms have been one of the big winners of the pandemic, with home-based consumers buying in large volumes

    According to The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, a collaboration between mushroom farmers across the UK & Ireland, research suggests that demand is still high for the product and shows no signs of slowing down.

    Since the start of the pandemic, 36 per cent of British shoppers have proactively purchased more foods with added health benefits, research indicates. During the first lockdown in spring, sales of mushrooms soared with volume sales up by 20 per cent, as health-conscious consumers sought nutritious food that can be easily incorporated into dishes at home.

    In the past month alone, mushroom sales rose 15 per cent, outperforming other vegetables.

    The onset of Covid-19 highlights that consumers are now making more conscious decisions around eating foods with additional health benefits, according to the mushroom group. Mushrooms have been eaten more regularly to boost the immune system, with consumers aged 55+ motivated to eat food with functional health benefits, research suggests.

    The data suggests the cause of the spike could also be down to the new wave of shoppers buying into meat alternatives. Sales of meat alternatives are up by 32 per cent year on year [Kantar] and plant-based cooking has continued to increase with vegan main meals growing by 50 per cent.

  19. #239
    Mushroom cultivation produces three times its weight in waste. It’s now being turned into burgers and fertiliser

    Cultivating mushrooms produces a lot of waste. For every kilogram of mushrooms produced, about three kilograms of soil-like material containing straw, manure and peat is left behind. In the EU, this results in more than 3 billion kilograms of waste per year.

    Managing this waste is a challenge. Although it is rich in organic matter, and therefore useful as compost, used mushroom substrate – the soil-like material – contains a lot of water, which makes it heavy and unprofitable to transport. Some of it is used as compost in agricultural land close by but the vast majority that remains ends up being stored temporarily then landfilled.

    ‘Every year we have more and more waste,’ said Pablo Martinez, project manager at the Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja in Spain. ‘So, we need larger and larger areas just to manage this waste.’

    More mushroom waste could soon be given a second life though thanks to new innovations. Dr Bart van der Burg, Director of Innovation at BioDetection Systems in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and his team are interested in discarded mushroom parts, such as stems, and deformed mushrooms, which are part of the cultivation leftovers. They are aiming to extract components such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and chitin – a fibrous substance – from them as part of the Funguschain project. Their goal is to incorporate these extracts into new products such as novel foods, cosmetics and bioplastics. ‘I think we will end up with at least three products coming out of this project,’ said Dr van der Burg.

    The team has been experimenting with different extraction techniques. After milling and grinding the mushrooms, they found that a technique using microwave radiation was effective for removing antioxidants, antimicrobials and organic compounds called polyols, for example, which could be used in food and bioplastics. A pressurised hot water tea-like technique was suitable for extracting other components such as proteins and polysaccharides – a type of carbohydrate – for use in food products.

  20. #240
    Radioactive Fungi? Here’s How These Newly Discovered Meghalayan Mushroom Species Glow in Dark

    Recently, a team of scientists—from India and China—discovered a new species of mushroom thriving in the bamboo forest of Northeast India. Eerily though, these fungi species glow in the dark! Turns out, the newly discovered mushroom is bioluminescent—types of living organisms that emit light.

    The new mushrooms were first spotted in 2019 during the fungi biodiversity survey. As per reports, the species have now been added to the count of 97 known existing bioluminescent species worldwide.

    The species were identified by a team of scientists on a project to assess fungal biodiversity of the Northeastern states—Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. During this project, the team documented 600 varieties of fungi, in addition to finding new species. It was detected during the last leg of the project, from two sites namely Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district and Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district.

    Researchers concluded that the discovered species is a new one after examining its morphological and molecular data. For this, the team extracted the mushroom’s DNA and sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the nuclear ribosomal large subunit (LSU) of the fungus.

    As per the study, the species belongs to the genus of Roridomyces, which usually grow in moist and humid conditions. This makes it the first fungus—under this genus—to be discovered from India. The glowing species has been named as Roridomyces phyllostachydis after its host bamboo tree—Phyllostachys—where it was found growing. As per reports, out of 1,20,000 species of fungi discovered so far, about 100 are bioluminescent.

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