The Shiitake Mushroom

Mushrooms sitting on a table.
Shiitake mushrooms . Photo by anhnhidesign c/o Pixabay.

The shiitake [Lentinula edodes] mushroom is one of the most popular edible mushrooms in China and other parts of East Asia. It is increasingly important in western cuisine for adding an exotic touch to Chinese and Japanese cooking. Extracts of the mushroom are also regularly used in a wide variety of products.


 As far as health is concerned, the results reported by Dai et al. (2015) suggested that regular shiitake consumption can improve immunity system of humans.

Moreover, a wide range of literature indicates that shiitake provides not only high nutritional value but also participates actively in antitumor, antioxidant and antiviral activities (Finimundy et al., 2014; Jiang et al., 2015).

Shiitake essential oil (SEO) is extracted from this mushroom. It is used in food as an ingredient, a flavouring agent and as a nutritional supplement. However, the direct fortification of food product with SEO seems to be undesirable by consumers. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid and linoleic acid, and sulphur compounds such as lenthionine, 1,2,4‐trithiolane and 1,2,4,5‐tetrathiane. The functional oil is susceptible to oxidation and readily produces hydroperoxides, off flavours and odours that compromises the quality and shelf life of a food product (Çağlarırmak, 2007; Dermiki et al., 2013).


Çağlarırmak, N. (2007). The nutrients of exotic mushrooms (Lentinula edodes and Pleurotus species) and an estimated approach to the volatile compounds. Food Chemistry, 105, pp. 1188–1194

Dai, X., Stanilka, J.M., Rowe, C.A. et al. (2015). Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) mushrooms daily improves human immunity: A randomized dietary intervention in healthy young adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34, pp. 478–487.

Dermiki, M., Phanphensophon, N., Mottram, D.S. & Methven, L. (2013). Contributions of non‐volatile and volatile compounds to the umami taste and overall flavour of shiitake mushroom extracts and their application as flavour enhancers in cooked minced meat. Food Chemistry, 141, pp. 77–83

Finimundy, T.C., Dillon, A.J.P., Henriques, J.A.P. & Ely, M.R. (2014). A review on general nutritional compounds and pharmacological properties of the Lentinula edodes mushroom. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, pp. 1095

Jiang, T., Luo, Z. & Ying, T. (2015). Fumigation with essential oils improves sensory quality and enhanced antioxidant ability of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes). Food Chemistry, 172, pp.  692–698

(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.