Thursday , February 9 2023

The irradiated mushrooms have a 30-fold higher vitamin D content: are such fungi necessary?


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

Kaufland's food retailer has been offering mushrooms for some time, whose vitamin D content is expected to be 30 times higher than conventional fungi when exposed to UVB light. Stiftung Warentest analyzed earlier the breeding mushrooms and explains how sensitive they are.

Deficiency of normal vitamin D

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

Kaufland offers mushrooms for a period of time, which should contain significantly more vitamin D than conventional fungi due to UV radiation. Stiftung Warentest has looked at new foods more closely. (Photo: ExQuisine /

Now also available in Germany

Years ago, German researchers reported about vitamin D-enriched mushrooms sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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

Meanwhile, Germany's Kaufland retail chain also offers breeding mushrooms that are considered to be rich in vitamin D by exposure to UV light.

But what benefits does the vitamin D fungus have?

The mushrooms are briefly illuminated with UVB light

"30 times more vitamin D" than conventionally cultivated mushrooms, "100 grams contain 125 percent of the recommended daily dose" – promising the label of the vitamin D mushroom, which is exclusively on Kaufland's offer, informs Stiftung Warentest on the site or.

200 grams should cost about two euros.

According to a message from the retailer, the mushrooms are briefly illuminated with UVB light. According to the company, it increases the vitamin D content in mushrooms by a factor of 30 compared to conventional mushrooms.

Irradiation imitates a process in the wild – because mushrooms produce an abundant vitamin D under the influence of the sun.

In conventional breeding mushrooms, this does not happen very hard, because it does not budge in the light of the day. Vitamin D is said to support the health of bones and teeth.

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

Special mushrooms are produced by the Lower Saxony Pilzland company.

The irradiation procedure works

Stiftung Warentest sent the mushrooms to the lab and reported on "" if the mushrooms actually offer something for the vitamin D budget and if the specified vitamin D levels are also correct.

According to the researchers, experts have determined the vitamin D content in the mushrooms of seven different packages and have 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 regular breeding fungi.

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

Based on average value, the seller's promise is that the vitamin D mushrooms contain 30 times more so-called sun vitamin.

Vitamin D levels vary significantly

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

Instead, the highest content was 15.1 micrograms. This figure is even higher than the maximum level that the EU has set for these new foods under the new European Food Regulation: ten micrograms per 100 grams.

An overdose of vitamin D mushroom lovers does not have to worry. Even from the vitamins D – the richest mushrooms that you could eat according to the long-term commodity test, every day without hesitation more packages.

Because the vitamin D levels of the special mushrooms differ so much, the testers describe the precise content of vitamin D on the 6.25 micrograms / 100 gram package as "very good".

In addition, the mushrooms are not properly named: The New Food Regulation requires that cultivated mushrooms which have been treated with UV rays are referred to as "UV-treated mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)".

But on the label are just the names "Mushrooms of Vitamin D" and "Kulturchampignon".

Man receives vitamin D mainly by sunlight

"Especially now in the dark season, many people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Because the UVB content in sunlight is too low to produce its own vitamin D in the skin," says Dr. Med. Paul Urbain.

Steinchampignons are an ideal way for vegetarians and vegans to meet their vitamin D needs simply and tastefully, "says the nutritionist.

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

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

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

Therefore, specialized companies recommend that between March and October, two to three times a week, hands and arms be uncovered and without sun protection by exposing – the sun of the sunlight, but you must avoid it.

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

Those who spend more time in the sun should be protected from it, for example with sunscreen. The body can store a quantity of vitamin D that is enough for most people to come through the dark season with no symptoms of deficiency.

Taking supplements

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

However, these dietary supplements are not recommended for all people, experts warn.

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

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

According to the Stiftung Warentest, vitamin D supplementation may be useful for certain risk groups, for example at sleep or at the age of 65, who can not make vitamin D just as good in the skin. (Ad)

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