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Completed project

New innovations to improve mushroom whiteness shelf life (MU19005)

Key research provider: Applied Horticultural Research
Publication date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021

What was it all about?

During 2020, this investment investigated new innovations to improve and maintain mushroom whiteness, looking at both pre- and post-harvest factors. A grower-focused Best Bets Guide was produced that outlines the most effective technologies, techniques and strategies that mushroom growers can use on-farm to improve and maintain mushroom whiteness, with information to improve handling and management through the supply chain as well.

Presenting clean, white mushrooms to consumers at retail is a proven method of increasing sales. Conversely, browning mushrooms lack freshness, appearing damaged or near the end of storage life. Improving and maintaining whiteness has the potential to boost sales and reduce waste, and ultimately increase the profitability of the mushroom sector.

The project team conducted a detailed desktop study on mushroom whiteness. Peer reviewed literature on mushroom quality has increased immensely in the last few years, with substantial information about the cellular and metabolic process involved in the browning of mushrooms, along with a wide range of methods to slow this process.

As well as detailing the causes of browning, the project’s study thoroughly reviewed pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest strategies to improve whiteness at harvest and retain colour through the supply chain.

Promising areas requiring further work to achieve commercialisation have been identified, along with proven methods that industry could adopt right now.


Access the Best Bets Guide on the industry resource website AGORA.

Read this article about the project’s results in the Summer 2020 edition of Australian Mushrooms Journal.

Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4659 5

Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund using the mushroom R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2021. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).