Influence of culinary treatments (boiling, microwaving, grilling, and deep frying) on proximate composition and antioxidant capacity of cultivated mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus, Lentinula edodes, Pleurotus ostreatus, and Pleurotus eryngii) was studied. Proximate composition was affected by the cooking method and the mushrooms species. Frying induced more severe losses in protein, ash, and carbohydrates content but increased the fat and energy. Boiling improved the total glucans content by enhancing the β-glucans fraction. A significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity especially after boiling and frying, while grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached higher values of antioxidant activity. Maillard reaction products could be partially responsible, as supported by the absorbance values measured at 420 nm. Since cooking techniques clearly influence the nutritional attributes of mushrooms, the proper selection of treatments is a key factor to prevent/reduce nutritional losses. Microwaving and grilling were established as the best processes to maintain the nutritional profile of mushrooms.
Keywords: Maillard reaction; Mushrooms; antioxidant activity; cooking methods; proximal composition; β-glucans.