Potential for High-Fiber Baked Goods with Mushroom Beta-Glucan

April 13, 2011

Korean researchers assessed the potential for functional baking with beta-glucans.

Research out of Korea suggests that low-grade shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushrooms could be used to manufacture functional baked goods with beta-glucan. The research was published online at the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Shiitake mushroom is often considered for dietary supplement use because of the mushroom’s beta-glucan content, which appears to provide human immune health benefits. Use of shiitake and other medicinal mushrooms in the functional foods category is still limited.

A team of researchers, led by Suyong Lee of Korea’s Sejong University, considered low-grade shiitake mushrooms for potential use as a fiber-rich, low-calorie substitute for wheat flour in baked goods. The researchers obtained beta-glucan rich material from the mushrooms and replaced portions of wheat flour in cake formulations with the beta-glucan material. Various baking parameters were measured to assess feasibility of this kind of functional baking.

Results of the trial showed that batter viscosity and elastic properties increased with the beta-glucan material. Volume and hardiness of baked goods did increase, but the researchers saw no significant differences observed between control and beta-glucan cakes.

“As a wheat flour substitute, the [beta-glucan-enriched materials] that were prepared from low-grade Lentinus edodes mushrooms, could be successfully used to produce cakes containing 1 g of β-glucan per serving with quality attributes similar to those of the control,” concluded the researchers.

Funding for the study was provided by Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.