• Agaricus bisporus;
  • shelf-life;
  • quality;
  • browning;
  • texture;
  • maturity;
  • mannitol


The effect of controlled atmosphere (CA) on the shelf-life of the common mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) was assessed using six parameters correlated with its commerical qualities. Low CO2 concentrations (up to 2.5%) reduced brown discolouration compared to the control in air. Higher CO2 concentrations enhanced both internal and external browning. Low O2 concentrations reduced growth of micro-organisms, including pseudomonads. Respiration rate, when the mushrooms are placed again in normal air, is proportional to CO2 concentration during storage suggesting that CO2 exhibits a phytotoxic effect on mushrooms. A lower mannitol content was noted in mushrooms stored under CA than those stored in air (control). Mushrooms stored in a 5% CO2 atmosphere for 7 days did not break their veil but their texture was very soft and spongy. Texture losses decreased when CO2 concentrations increased.