Home' Grower : April 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- April 2012
up fresh food peak
By LIZ COTTON
VIGOROUS industry promo-
tion and solid consumer
demand has seen one of the
State's 'mushrooming' horticul-
South Australia's mushroom sec-
tor has certainly not been in the
dark in recent times, with substan-
tial growth in the past four years --
particularly the past 12 months.
The booming industry saw week-
ly production jump from 110,000
kilograms in Januar y 2009 to about
165,000kg by the middle of last
year and 180,000kg by year-end.
This increase was largely
brought about through the mas-
sive expansion at Adelaide
Australian Mushroom Growers'
Association chairman Douglas
Schirripa's farm at Monarto.
Mr Schirripa is now the country's
second-largest supplier, having
increased production more than
ten-fold since investing in a mod-
ern $50-million growing facility.
The new facility produces
120,000kg of white and brown
mushrooms a week which are sold
direct to Coles, Woolworths,
Independent supermarkets and
The mushroom industry is using advertisements, like this one to promote
its health messages. Vitamin D-enhanced mushrooms, already available
in Sydney, should be out Australian-wide in the next few months.
Weekly production up
Govt funding big boost
Major campaign on June 7
Australian Mushroom Growers' Association chairman Douglas Schirripa says the changing consumer diet has seen
mushrooms make their way to the salad list and find prime position on the BBQ.
Vitamin D with just three
local fruit and vegetable outlets in
every state. It also produces Phase
1, 2 and 3 compost.
"There are plans in the next year
or so to develop an exotic mush-
room facility here in Monarto to
offer more varieties to our clients,
restaurants and to the home-cooks
out there," Mr Schirripa said.
"We are also looking to double
our current production in the
next two to three years."
The strength of the industry has
seen mushrooms rise to number
three on the best-selling list for
fresh food, with 86 per cent of
households regularly buying mush-
rooms and 55pc buying them
weekly, according to research from
the SA Food Centre.
"We saw the huge change in
consumer diets which turned to
fresh foods and eating mushrooms
raw in salads and putting them on
the BBQ. This led to a big
increase in summer sales which
were until that time quite dor-
mant," Mr Schirripa said.
There are currently five commer-
cial growers in SA, with 60pc of
the crop sold locally and 40pc
exported to Victoria and Western
Australia. The farms are all family
owned, employ about 250 people
and generate about $47 million in
farm-gate revenue each year.
South Australian state promo-
tions coordinator Pam Tobin is in
the process of implementing a
focused program of events to pro-
mote the benefits of mushrooms
to consumers, with a major new
campaign to be launched in
Adelaide on June 7.
"These events help promote
mushrooms to the public, and
highlight the exciting range of dish-
es that can be prepared and
enjoyed. Growers can see the bene-
fits of investing further into increas-
ing production," Ms Tobin said.
The announcement late last year
that the mushroom industry will
receive a $200,000 investment
from the Federal Government's
'Promoting Australian Produce
Initiative' to support research into
marketing and informing con-
sumers of the many health bene-
fits of including mushrooms in
their daily diets was also a big
boost to the industry.
THE nutritional benefits of
mushrooms have been widely
promoted in the past but new
research has developed positive
correlations with mushrooms,
particularly for cancer research and
through the high levels of vitamin D
naturally found in them.
South Australians will soon be
able to enjoy specially cultivated
vitamin D-enhanced mushrooms,
already available in Sydney.
Until recently, commercially
grown mushrooms had low levels
of vitamin D2 as they preferred the
comfort of dark growing rooms to
the glare of additional lighting that
often affected room temperatures
and running costs.
Since 2005, a series of experiments
examined the effect of light on
vitamin D2 production in mushrooms
and experiments have now been able
to replicate nature by using UV light
in the mushroom growing process to
stimulate consistent and guaranteed
levels of the vitamin.
Growers in the United States
have learnt the tricks of vitamin D-
enhanced mushrooms and have
been producing them in
commercial quantities since 2009.
Australian growers are following
suit. Once picked, the mushrooms
are placed on a conveyor belt and
passed under pulsed UV light for
one to two seconds to trigger the
generation of vitamin D. Even this
small exposure can produce at
least 10 mcg (400 IU) of vitamin D2
-- the daily dose recommended for
adults in the 51 to 70 age-group.
Australian Mushroom Growers
Association general manager Greg
Seymour said one serve of vitamin
D-mushrooms is enough to make
up the daily levels essential for
health, and provides a simple
natural solution to pregnant
women low in the vitamin.
"Our new mushrooms would be the
most natural vitamin D supplement a
pregnant woman can take -- just
three vitamin D-mushrooms a day is
all that's needed,'' he said.
Trust Mark logo a vitamin D
Look for the BLUE BOX of ADELAIDE MUSHROOMS at your local supermarket and greengrocer • PH: 08 8534 4257
BUY LOCALLY GROWN MUSHROOMS
800g button mushrooms, trimmed
100ml olive oil
180g semi dried tomatoes
1tbs red wine vinegar
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup raw cashews
2tbs sesame seeds
100g baby spinach leaves
1tbs Dijon mustard
Place large roasting pan in oven, pre-heat to 220degC (fan forced). Add mushrooms to hot pan, add thyme, drizzle
with 2tbs oil, coat mushrooms. Roast for 15 min, until tender. Heat med non-stick pan over med heat. Add 1tbs oil
and cashews, cook, shaking pan for 3-4 min until light golden. Add honey & sesame seeds, toss gently to coat. Cool
on tray lined with baking paper. Add cashews, tomatoes & spinach to mushrooms. Combine remaining 2tbs oil,
vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper in a screw-top jar, shake to combine. Pour dressing over mushroom salad, toss
gently to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature with roast turkey, pork or ham.
Tomato & Cashew Salad
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