Incorporation of tocopherol-rich extracts from mushroom mycelia into yogurt
Consumers are well-informed about food additives and it is likely that they prefer natural additives over their synthetic analogues. Antioxidants represent a major class of food preservatives, among which tocopherols stand out as one of the most important examples. Interestingly, these compounds are present in relevant amounts in the mycelia of in vitro cultured mushrooms. Accordingly, the mycelia from Ganoderma lucidum, Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus eryngii were used as alternative sources of tocopherols. These extracts were incorporated into different yogurt formulations, which were further compared among each other and with yogurts containing commercial α-tocopherol (E307), regarding their nutritional parameters, fatty acid profile and antioxidant activity. The proposed approach was validated as an effective functionalization strategy, particularly in the case of the G. lucidum mycelium, which showed the highest antioxidant potential, most likely as a result of its tocopherol profile. Furthermore, yogurts prepared with each mycelium extract allowed maintaining the nutritional properties observed in the “blank” yogurt formulation.