Wednesday , June 23 2021

Mushrooms irradiated with 30 times higher vitamin D content: Are such mushrooms needed?

Kaufland offers mushrooms with vitamin D: How useful are these mushrooms?

The Kaufland food retailer has offered mushrooms for some time, whose vitamin D content should be 30 times higher than conventional mushrooms when exposed to UVB light. The Stiftung Warentest looked more closely at the breeding mushrooms and explains how wise they are.

Common deficiency of vitamin D

Last year it was reported that about 60 percent of children and adolescents in Germany have more or less depressed levels of vitamin D. In addition, one study showed that about half of those over 65 are affected by vitamin D deficiency In general, the supply of vitamin D in Germany is considered deficient. Does it make sense, therefore, to enrich foods with vitamin D, as with some mushrooms?

Kaufland has offered mushrooms for some time, which should contain significantly more vitamin D than conventional fungi due to UV radiation. Stiftung Warentest has now examined the new foods more closely. (Photo: ExQuisine /

Now also available in Germany

Years ago, German researchers reported on vitamin D-enriched mushrooms sold in the UK and Ireland.

Just a few months ago, Swiss mushroom growers also launched mushrooms rich in vitamin D.

And in the meantime, Kaufland's retail grocery chain in Germany also offers breeding mushrooms that are considered rich in vitamin D by exposure to ultraviolet light.

But what benefits does vitamin D fungus have?

Mushrooms are briefly lit with UVB light

"30 x more vitamin D" than conventional mushrooms, "100 grams contain 125% of the recommended daily allowance" – promising the label of vitamin D mushrooms, which are offered exclusively by Kaufland, reported the Stiftung Warentest on its website .

200 grams should cost about two euros.

According to a message from the grocery store, the mushrooms are briefly lit with UVB light. According to the company, this increases the vitamin D content of mushrooms by a factor of 30 compared to conventional mushrooms.

Irradiation mimics a process in nature – as fungi produce abundant vitamin D under the influence of sunlight.

In conventional mushrooms, this hardly ever happens because they do not sprout in daylight. Vitamin D is said to support the health of bones and teeth.

The procedure was developed by Dr. med. Paul Urbain, nutritionist at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg.

The special mushrooms are produced by the Pilzland company in Lower Saxony.

The irradiation procedure works

The Stiftung Warentest sent the mushrooms to the lab and reported on "," whether the mushrooms actually bring something to the vitamin D budget and whether the specified levels of vitamin D are also correct.

According to the researchers, the experts determined the vitamin D content of the mushrooms from seven different packs and determined that the irradiation procedure works.

The vitamin D content is on average 9.6 micrograms per 100 grams, which is well above the levels of common mushrooms.

Analysis of common fungus samples revealed only about 0.3 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams.

Based on the average value, the supplier's promise is that vitamin D fungi contain 30 times more of the so-called sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D levels vary significantly

However, vitamin D levels vary from packaging to packaging significantly. The lowest level found in the mushrooms of one packet was 5.3 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams.

On the other hand, the highest content was 15.1 micrograms. This number even exceeds the maximum level that the EU has established for these novel foods under the European New Food Regulation: 10 micrograms per 100 grams.

An overdose of vitamin D mushroom lovers need not worry. Even from the mushrooms rich in vitamin D, they could eat according to the test of goods on a daily basis without hesitation several packages.

Because vitamin D levels of special mushrooms differ greatly, testers describe the precise content of vitamin D in the package as 6.25 micrograms per 100 grams as "very good".

In addition, fungi are not properly named: the regulation on novel foods requires that cultivated mushrooms that have been treated with UV rays, "UV-treated fungi (Agaricus bisporus)" should be called.

But on the label are only the names "Vitamin D mushrooms" and "Kulturchampignon".

Man receives vitamin D mainly through sunlight

"Especially now in the dark season, many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Because the UVB content in sunlight is too low for their vitamin D production in the skin," says Dr. med. Paul Urbain.

"Steinchampignons are an ideal way for vegetarians and vegans to meet their vitamin D needs with simplicity and good taste," says the nutritionist.

It is important to know, however, that humans cover only about ten to twenty percent of the vitamin D requirement through their diet.

Notable amounts are found in fatty fish such as herring and salmon. For example, egg yolk and margarine, which can be fortified with vitamin D, provide smaller amounts.

Primarily, the person receives vitamin D, which is especially important for the bones, through the sunlight in the summer months.

Therefore, specialized companies recommend that, between March and October, two to three times a week, hands and arms exposed and without sunscreen the sun expose – bright sun of noon, but you should avoid.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), half the time that otherwise a sunburn would be left unprotected is sufficient.

Those who stay longer in the sun should protect themselves, for example, with sunscreen. The body can store a supply of vitamin D that is sufficient in most people to go through the dark season without symptoms of deficiency.

Take supplements

Some people still rely on the intake of vitamin D supplements. However, this should always be discussed with the family doctor.

However, such dietary supplements are not recommended for everyone, experts warn.

In addition, some of these preparations are not recommended, but even a risk, as the tests have shown.

And the drug commission of the German medical profession (AkdÄ) has pointed out that it can also lead to an overdose with vitamin D supplements.

According to Stiftung Warentest, intake of vitamin D supplements may be helpful for certain at-risk groups, for example in people who are bedridden or over 65, who can no longer produce such good vitamin D through the skin. (Ad)

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