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Information @ a Glance

General 

  • Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible cup fungi. They produce highly porous ascocarps, prized by gourmet cooks, particularly for French cuisine. Commercial value aside, morels are hunted by thousands of people every year simply for their taste and the joy of the hunt. Morels have been called by many local names; some of the more colorful include "merkels" or "miracles," based on a story of how a mountain family was saved from starvation by eating morels, and Dryland fish, due to their similarity in taste to fish
  • It is collected during the months of July and August. It is usually found under the apple trees and sides of streams and rivers. Morchella deliciosa is of yellowish color. When fresh, its size varies from 6 to 30 cm and upon drying it becomes of 4 to 15 cm. It is very dark brown, and by the time they are mature they become nearly black, with dark ridges and light pits, with whitish or dirty brown stem. Sometimes they are pointy but they can also be rounded

Processing

  • The Selection of the method for processing mushrooms depends, among other things, on the ultimate use of the products as well as on the storage period envisaged. The long - term preservation of mushrooms can be achieved by freezing, drying and sterilization.  Apart from using these methods, food processing plants also produce salted mushrooms as a semi-finished product; pickled and marinated mushrooms; powders; pastes; and concentrates and extracts.
  • Sorption isotherms were determined for different freeze-dried berries and mushroom species. For berries, there was no significant effect of temperature on the equilibrium sorption in the range of temperatures studied. However, the effect of temperature on equilibrium moisture content was significant for mushrooms.

Market

  • Mushrooms are normally exported to France, UK, Italy, Switzerland, and Dubai etc. Its exports ranged to 150 to 160 million rupees (Iqbal, 1993). Pakistan earned $6.904 million foreign exchange in 1993. There was an export of Rs. 78,640,000 in 1999-00 (EPB, 2002). 70 per cent decrease in exports was recorded in year 2000-2001.
  • As far as the import market is concerned, the most significant buyer of canned white button mushroom is Germany. This country alone accounts for almost 40% of the world imports. USA also imports canned mushroom, accounting for about 19% of the world imports. More than 70% of morels are produced in NWFP, while 532,280 kg were produced in 1997-98 . Unit price of Morchella esculenta is Rs. 4000 to 4300 per kg at local grocers level while at middlemen level its price reaches to Rs. 5000-5500 per Kg .

Application

  • It is used as a Tonic to the intestines and stomach, reduces phlegm and regulates the flow of vital energy.
  • Mushrooms are nutritionally functional food and a source of physiologically beneficial and non-toxic medicines. They have been used in folk medicine throughout the world since ancient times.Morchella esculenta (L) Pers. is an edible and highly priced mushroom.
  • Anti-inflammatory and antitumour activities of ethanolic extract of cultured mycelium of M. esculenta were investigated. The extract showed significant dose-dependent inhibition of both acute and chronic inflammation. The activity was comparable to that of the standard reference drug, Diclofenac. Antitumour activity of the extract  was determined using both DLA cell line-induced solid tumour and EAC cell line-induced ascites tumour models in mice. The extract exhibited significant antitumour activity against both ascites and solid tumours. The finding suggests the potential therapeutic use of aqueous-ethanolic extract of morel mushroom mycelium in chemotherapy

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