Mushroom beta-glucans show immunomodulatory, anticancer and antioxidant features. Numerous papers have been published in the last years on fungal polysaccharides, especially beta-glucans, demonstrating their various biological activities. However substantial data about beta-glucan contents in many mushroom species, especially wild mushrooms, are still missing. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to evaluate β-glucans in 18 species of wild mushrooms and three species of commercial mushrooms for comparison purposes. The contents of β-glucans were determined by the Megazyme method and with the Congo red method, which differ in analytical procedure. Among wild mushrooms, the highest mean β-glucan content assessed with the Megazyme method was found in Tricholoma portentosum
(34.97 g/100 g DM), whereas with the Congo red method in Lactarius deliciosus
(17.11 g/100 g DM) and Suillus grevillei
(16.97 g/100 g DM). The β-glucans in wild mushrooms assessed with the Megazyme method were comparable to commercial mushrooms, whereas β-glucans assessed with the Congo red method were generally higher in wild mushrooms, especially in Russula vinosa
, L. deliciosus
and S. grevillei.
This study indicates wild mushrooms as interesting material for β-glucan extraction for food industry and medicinal purposes.
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