Britain’s biggest retailer said the fungi – which have a similar to vitamin D content to wild outdoor grown varieties – will help to help keep shoppers “healthy during the darker winter months”.
The new range included: Chestnut, Baby Chestnut and Portobello mushrooms. The fungi contain a substance called ergosterol, which allows them to naturally make vitamin D when they are exposed to light.
Warning from health experts
The launch followed a recent warning from health experts that many people do not gain enough vitamin D from their diet. This vitamin is needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy – particularly during the darker winter months.
Tesco mushroom expert Marek Kutera said: “As we head into the winter months, we know it can be increasingly difficult to meet the daily recommendations for vitamin D from a natural source.
“These delicious mushrooms will make it easier than ever for shoppers to get all of their allowance from a key cooking staple.”
One portion of the fungi – about four chestnut or one to two portobello mushrooms – in dishes such as spaghetti bolognese was all that is needed to supply a person’s daily vitamin D needs.
A 100g portion is on average four to five chestnut mushrooms,14 baby button mushrooms or one to two portobello mushrooms.
Oily fish, red meat, egg yolks
Vitamin D helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. It occurs naturally in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat, egg yolks and mushrooms. Also our bodies create the vitamin naturally when exposed to sunshine.
In spring and summer, most people get enough vitamin D through sunlight on the skin and a healthy, balanced diet, according to Public Health England.
But during autumn and winter, everyone will need to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D.
The mushrooms are labelled as being enriched with vitamin D. The fungi are grown exclusively for Tesco by Monaghan Mushrooms, based in the Republic of Ireland. The business started developing a commercial process to giving mushrooms 100% of the daily vitamin D intake in one serving six years ago.
Earlier this month an independent review by the Cochrane research body revealed that the risk of severe asthma attacks could be reduced by taking vitamin D supplements as well as asthma medication.
Treating foods with ultraviolet light
1923: American scientist Harry Steenbock discovered in that giving ultraviolet (UV) light to some foods and organic materials could cure rickets in those who ate the food.
1920s: UV light treatment for milk became widely known.
1990s: Finish scientists explored its use with mushrooms
2010: Monaghan Mushrooms started to develop a commercial process for giving mushrooms 100% t of the daily vitamin D need in one serving
2016: Tesco launch mushrooms enriched with vitamin D, produced from UV light