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How to safely keep “mushroom” food at home fresh

How to safely keep “mushroom” food at home fresh

Shiitake mushrooms, fungus, enoki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms… A variety of mushrooms (edible mushrooms) have unique flavors and rich nutrition, and are frequent guests on many family tables. However, whether fresh or dried, mushrooms may cause food safety issues if they are not properly stored. How to properly “arrange” the mushrooms you buy at home? Huang Chenyang, a researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Agricultural Zoning of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and deputy chief scientist of the National Edible Fungi Industry Technology System, suggested that consumers pay attention to several key points.

Point 1: Fresh mushrooms should not be stored for a long time or washed before being stored.

There are many members of the mushroom family, and there are more than 100 species that can be cultivated artificially. They contain chitin, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other ingredients that are rich in nutrients and are loved by bacteria. If the storage method is improper and kept for a long time, it is easy for bacteria to take advantage of it and cause deterioration, rot, yellowing, etc. Therefore, it is best to buy and eat mushrooms now, and it is not recommended to buy a lot at one time.

The following points can appropriately extend the shelf life and avoid damage to the flavor and freshness of mushrooms (edible fungi) to the greatest extent:

Do not wash before storing. Some “clean” families are accustomed to washing the mushrooms, letting them dry for a while and then putting them in the refrigerator. However, when the mushrooms are exposed to water, not only will the flavor and freshness of the mushrooms decrease, but the bacteria will also multiply faster. Therefore, the mushrooms should be kept in their original state and should not be washed.

Most mushrooms are recommended to be refrigerated to reduce the growth rate of bacteria and extend their shelf life. If possible, fresh mushrooms can be wrapped in dry kitchen paper before storage to absorb excess moisture. But remember, straw mushrooms are high-temperature edible fungi and cannot be stored in the refrigerator.

Key Point 2: Preservation methods and shelf life of different fresh mushrooms

Point 3: How to judge whether the dried mushrooms at home have gone bad

Unopened dried mushrooms should be stored in a dry, low-temperature, and dark environment. Refrigeration is better if conditions permit. The shelf life of dried products is generally one year, but if stored properly, it can last longer without any problem.

Dried mushrooms are susceptible to moisture and deterioration after opening, and are particularly prone to breeding borers. It is recommended to choose clean sealed bags or vacuum bags for storage. If possible, you can put a pack of food antioxidants in them, which is safer and more secure.

Most dried mushrooms are not susceptible to deterioration, but it is still recommended to purchase packaged products from regular brands. Some species, such as bamboo fungus and white fungus, are more likely to oxidize and turn yellow. Yellowing during storage is normal and does not affect consumption.

Dried mushrooms that have been affected by moisture due to improper storage may feel sticky, have an odor or have a mothy feel to them, which means they have gone bad and should not be eaten.

Point 4: Should you use cold water or warm water to soak dried mushrooms?

Dried mushrooms of different types and qualities vary in size and soaking time. Taking shiitake mushrooms as an example, it usually takes about 4 hours to soak them, which not only allows the shiitake mushrooms to fully absorb water, but also makes their “meat” fuller and more elastic. “Flower mushrooms” are generally large and thick and need to be soaked for a longer time. It is recommended to soak them directly in the refrigerator at 4℃ overnight. It is best not to soak them at room temperature overnight. If you need it urgently for cooking, you can put the dried mushrooms in a sealed container, add warm water at about 60°C, and shake continuously for about 10 minutes to speed up the soaking.

If the indoor temperature exceeds 25°C, the water used for soaking the mushrooms can easily breed bacteria. It is recommended to put the container into the refrigerator compartment, or replace the purified water 1 to 2 times during the soaking process. At the same time, pay attention to keeping the container clean.

Generally speaking, it is better to soak dried mushrooms in cold water. The water for soaking mushrooms has a rich flavor and can be used after clarification. If you are in a hurry, you can put it in the pot when the water is cold and heat it over medium heat to complete the quick soaking. Taking black fungus as an example, put cold water into the pot and keep it boiling for 3 minutes to complete the purpose of soaking. If it is used for cold salad, boil the black fungus in boiling water for 5 minutes, remove and drain.

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