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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Apr 22;57(8):3351-5. doi: 10.1021/jf803908q.

Vitamin D2 formation and bioavailability from Agaricus bisporus button mushrooms treated with ultraviolet irradiation.

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  • 1Centre for Plant and Food Science, College of Health and Science, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia.


Agaricus bisporus mushrooms contain an abundance of ergosterol, which on exposure to UV irradiation is converted to vitamin D2. The present study evaluated the effects UV-C irradiation on vitamin D2 formation and its bioavailability in rats. Fresh button mushrooms were exposed to UV-C irradiation at mean intensities of 0.403, 0.316, and 0.256 mW/cm(2) from respective distances of 30, 40, and 50 cm for periods ranging from 2.5 to 60 min. Vitamin D2 and ergosterol were measured by HPLC-MS/MS. The stability and retention of vitamin D2 were assessed including the extent of discoloration during storage at 4 degrees C or at room temperature. Exposure to UV-C irradiation at 0.403 mW/cm(2) intensity from 30 cm distance resulted in a time-dependent increase in vitamin D2 concentrations that was significantly higher than those produced at intensities of 0.316 and 0.256 mW/cm(2) from distances of 40 and 50 cm, respectively. Furthermore, the concentrations of vitamin D2 produced after exposure to UV-C irradiation doses of 0.125 and 0.25 J/cm(2) for, 2.5, 5, and 10 min were 6.6, 15.6, and 23.1 microg/g solids, equivalent to 40.6, 95.4, and 141 microg/serving, respectively. The data showed a high rate of conversion from ergosterol to vitamin D2 at short treatment time, which is required by the mushroom industry. The stability of vitamin D2 remained unchanged during storage at 4 degrees C and at room temperature over 8 days (P = 0.36), indicating no degradation of vitamin D2. By visual assessment or using a chromometer, no significant discoloration of irradiated mushrooms, as measured by the degree of "whiteness", was observed when stored at 4 degrees C compared to that observed with mushrooms stored at room temperature over an 8 day period (P < 0.007). Vitamin D2 was well absorbed and metabolized as evidenced by the serum response of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in rats fed the irradiated mushrooms. Taken together, the data suggest that commercial production of button mushrooms enriched with vitamin D2 for improving consumer health may be practical.

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