Abstract: Mushrooms have effective mechanisms to absorb and accumulate trace elements from substrates and, therefore could be used as a strategy to produce mineral-enriched food and nutritional supplements. This study aimed to enrich shiitake mushrooms with selenium (Se), an important dietary element in human health. Strains of Lentinula edodes (Berk.) were grown on artificial logs composed of eucalyptus sawdust, and were subjected to cold shock in water containing sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) at concentrations of up to 1.28 mM. The content of Se in the mushrooms increased linearly with increasing amounts of Na2SeO3 added to the cold water although above 0.96 mM, mushroom formation was inhibited. Concentrations greater than 17 mg Se 100/g of dried mushrooms were observed after treatment with 0.64 mM Na2SeO3. Shiitake mushroom had a demonstrate potential to offer an effective and economical way to produce Se-enriched products and, the strategy of adding selenite in cold water, used in this study, showed promising once it does not interfere with mycelial growth.
Practical Application: Selenium is an essential trace element for both human and animals and is required for the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine, which is used for the synthesis of about a dozen selenoenzymes. In this study, it is demonstrated that shiitake mushroom is a good Se accumulator and only one step during fructification was necessary to obtained enriched mushroom. Se enriched shiitake mushroom can be considered to be an excellent source of this element and used to consumption in different ways.