Vitamin D Levels In Mushrooms Increase When Exposed to Sunlight

“To achieve enough vitamin D you could eat half a kilo of fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, around five tablespoons of margarine or half a litre of vitamin D fortified milk. Mushrooms however, can provide all the vitamin D we need, in just one serve,” concluded Cardwell.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Vitamin D is essential to maintain strong bones and good health. Although vitamin D can be naturally generated in the body in response to sunlight, many Australians are deficient in vitamin D. Dietary sources of vitamin D become increasingly important during winter, when days are shorter and sunlight less intense.

Like humans, mushrooms also generate vitamin D in response to sunlight. Exposing mushrooms to UV light in particular is known to result in high levels of vitamin D. This trial therefore aimed to determine the time and conditions under which 100 g of fresh mushrooms placed in the sun would produce 10mcg vitamin D. This is enough to meet the daily intake recommended under the Australian Food Standards Code.

Tests were conducted in Sydney during July 2013, using punnets of mushrooms purchased from local supermarkets. Mushrooms were either placed in a single layer on a white plastic plate, left in…

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