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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v8.i4.10
pages 297-314

The World Mushroom Industry: Trends and Technological Development

Shu-Ting Chang
Department of Biology, Centre for International Services to Mushroom Biotechnology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China; and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Australia


Approximately 14,000 described species of the 1.5 million fungi estimated in the world produce fruiting bodies that are large enough to be considered as mushrooms. The world market for the mushroom industry in 2005 was valued at over $45 billion. The mushroom industry can be divided into three main categories: edible mushrooms, medicinal mushroom products, and wild mushrooms. International bodies/forums have developed for each of these segments of the mushroom industry that have helped to bring them to the forefront of international attention: (1) International Society of Mushroom Science, for edible mushrooms; (2) World Society for Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products, for mushroom biology and medicinal mushroom products; and (3) International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms, for some wild mushrooms. The three international bodies/forums have done much to promote each of their respective fields, not the least of which is bringing together scientists in international forums for useful discussions, encouraging research, and the dissemination of valuable information. The outlook for many of the known mushroom species is bright. Production of mushrooms worldwide has been steadily increasing, mainly due to contributions from developing countries such as China, India, and Vietnam. There is also increasing experimentally based evidence to support centuries of observations regarding the nutritional and medicinal benefits of mushrooms. The value of mushrooms has recently been promoted to tremendous levels with medicinal mushrooms trials conducted for HIV/AIDS patients in Africa, generating encouraging results. However, harvests of highly prized edible mycorrhiza mushrooms are continuously decreasing. This has triggered research into devising methods for improved cultivation. It is hoped that there will be even more research into this area, so that larger quantities can be massively harvested through semicultivation methods. Technological developments in the mushroom industry in general have witnessed increasing production capacities, innovations in cultivation technologies, improvements to final mushroom goods, and utilization of mushrooms' natural qualities for environmental benefits. However, there is always the need to maintain current trends and to continue to seek out new opportunities. The challenge is to recognize opportunities such as increasing consumption capabilities with the increase in world population and to take advantage of this by promoting the consumption of mushrooms.

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