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Published in On-going Projects

Development of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms as Functional Foods in Ghana (PEER)


1) To cultivate four different species of edible mushrooms, Pleurotusostreatus, P. tuber-regium, Ganoderma sp. and Termitomyces sp.

2) To develop a new mushroom-based food

3) To assess consumer acceptability of the new mushroom-based products.



1) Pharmaceutical and Food Industries

2) Mushroom farmers

3) Unemployed youth


Many forests in Ghana are home to several species of edible mushrooms.

In many parts of the world, including Ghana, wild mushrooms are regularly collected when in season and used directly as a main source of food or added to dishes such as soups, stews, and teas to enhance flavor and texture. Recently, edible mushrooms have attracted much interest as functional foods because of their anti-mutagenic, anti-tumoral and anti-viral properties (Garcia-Lafuente 2011). There are at least 270 species of mushrooms that are known to possess medicinal properties (Smith et al 2002), and regular consumption has potential to benefit an individual’s diet. Both regions consume mushrooms for both their nutritional value and their medicinal properties, as mushrooms are anecdotally thought to reduce obesity, promote weight gain in underweight children, treat asthma, lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients, treat rheumatism, treat diarrhea, etc. Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamins, especially the B vitamins (Garcha 1993), and are a natural source of ergosterol, or pro-vitamin D (Kurtzman 2005). While crude fat in mushrooms contains the main classes of lipids, levels are generally low (2-8% of dry weight) (Breene 1990).Increasing urbanization has strengthened consumer demand for more sophisticated food choices that appeal to health, creating an opportunity for innovation in functional food product development, such as convenient mushroom-based foods (Grunert 2011). Successful new product development requires input from the target market throughout the process to obtain consumers’ perspectives, including identification of viable opportunities, development of concepts and physical prototypes, assessment of technology feasibility, and product launch (Grunert 2011). With their high nutritional value coupled with their medicinal properties, farming mushrooms and encouraging their consumption throughout Ghana could improve both the nutritional and health status of its people.


Objective 1: To cultivate four different species of edible mushrooms, P. ostreatus, P. tuber-regium, Ganoderma sp. and Termitomyces sp.

Objective 1A: To expand the cultivation of three different species of edible mushrooms, P. ostreatus, P. tuber-regium and Ganoderma sp.

Objective 1B: To cultivate Termitomyces sp. in vitro using tissue culture methods.

Objective 1C: Mushroom analysis will include color, texture, and select nutrient analyses (e.g. vitamin C,vitamin D, B vitamins and amino acid profile).

Objective 1D: Extracts of each mushroom will be screened for anti-inflammatory activity at Ohio State University if supplemental funds are received. 

Objective 2: To develop a new mushroom-based food.

Objective 2A: To formulate and develop prototypes of a new mushroom-based infant food. 

Objective 2B: Samples of the mushroom-based infant food will be analyzed immediately after processingand again after 3, 6 and 12 months at 30°C storage. 

Objective 2C: The shelf-life of the new food will be assessed by storing samples at three differenttemperatures (room (30±2oC), reduced (4oC) and elevated temperatures (37±2oC). 

Objective 3: To assess consumer acceptability of the new mushroom-based products.

Sensory attributes for assessment will include:

(1) Physical appearance

(2) Smell or aroma

(3) Texture and smoothness

(4) Taste and feeling on the tongue and

(5) Overall liking. 


1. Collection of mushroom germplasm from ATIWA forest. From 19th to 22nd March, team members from CSIR-FRI, embarked on a trip to Atiwa forest for mushroom germplasm collection. Samples collected included the woodear mushrooms (Auricularia species), oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus species), Falvolus brasilensis, Oil palm mushroom (Volvariella volvacea), Termite mushroom (Termitomyces species) and Pcynosporus sanguinesis among several polypores. A report on this collection is being written for submission in the next quarter report. Several of these samples have been air dried and awaiting proximate, nutrient, and phytochemical analysis in July-October, 2014 when team members will visit the laboratories of The Ohio State University, USA.

2. Cultivation of selected mushrooms on sawdust. Four varieties (Pleurotus ostreatus strain EM-1, P. sajor-caju strain PSCW, Auricularia auricula strain AU and Ganoderma lucidum strain GLA) have been grown on a mixture of composted sawdust of Triplochiton scleroxylon and Chlorophora excelsa. Fruit bodies of these mushrooms will be harvested and dried for product development studies scheduled for July-October 2014 at The Ohio State University, USA.


1. A field trip will be carried out for mushroom germplasm collection in Ayum forest in the Brong Ahafo region.

2. A manuscript titled ‘Mushrooms as functional foods in Ghana’ is under preparation by team members and will be sent to a journal this quarter.

3. Fabrication of an autoclave for increased spawn production 

4. A trip will be made by some team members to The Ohio State University, USA where a project meeting will be held. Also phytochemical analysis of collected mushroom samples from ATIWA and AYUM forests will be carried out. 

5. Product development of mushroom formulated children food using wild and/or cultivated mushrooms will be done.

Food Research Institute is located Adjacent to Ghana Standards Authority, Near Gulf House, Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, Accra, Ghana. We are open to the general public from Monday to Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm, excluding holidays. If you need any additional information or have a question, please contact us on 0302-962068/+233-243302980 or email us at info@foodresearchgh.org or director@foodresearchgh.org.

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