The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on 23 October 2023 has entered into an agreement with D Artisan at Tales of Indian Handicrafts for commercialization of Vitamin-D enriched mushroom powder technology. Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research and Mrs Bhumika Kaushal, Proprietor, D Artisan at Tales of Indian Handicrafts, signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). As per this MoA, PAU has offered non-exclusive rights for the production and marketing of Vitamin-D enriched mushroom powder for utilization in food products. This technology has been developed jointly by Dr Sonika Sharma, Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition and Dr Shammi Kapoor, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, PAU.
Dr Sonika Sharma explained that mushrooms were the only vegetarian food which contained Vitamin-D and the quantity could be enhanced by exposing the mushrooms to UV radiations and sunlight. The content of Vitamin D was enhanced upto 400 times in UV irradiated mushrooms. UV treated button and oyster mushroom powder was rich in proteins, fiber and minerals like iron, copper, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium, she added.
Dr Kiran Grover, Professor and Head, Department of Food and Nutrition, highlighted that today’s market was flooded with many synthetic supplements which posed a threat of side effects and toxicity. Vitamin-D enriched mushroom powder would combat Vitamin D deficiency, with long term benefits and no side effects, she observed.
Dr Kiranjot Sidhu, Dean, College of Community Science, said that there was glut production of mushrooms in winter season. Being a perishable crop, there was a need for value addition at commercial level, she stressed. Processing of mushrooms will make them available throughout the year for better revenue generation, she added.
Dr Khushdeep Dharni, Associate Director, Technology Marketing and IPR cell, stated that University was committed for disseminating its technologies to the grassroot level and benefiting both entrepreneurs and general public in the process.