Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    In the rainy season, many different types of ear mushrooms growing on the rotted wood. These are mushrooms that can be consumed. However, there are wood mushrooms that are poisonous. One of the fungi found on the food menu is ear mushroom (Auricularia Sp). This mushroom is considered and known as the the longest wooden mushrooms that have been consumed.

This mushroom shape like ear (ear), an old brown to nearly black. These fungi usually grow clustered and clung on rotting wood, skins of dead tree or wooden fence. In the market, this mushroom is sold in dry form.

There are two types of ear mushroom, which is a black fungus (Auricularia polytricha) and red (Auricularia auricula judae). The black one shaped like ears, its purplish black, and live stick on wet and humid wood. This type is cultivated inChina, Thailand, and several countries in the Indochina region.

Auricularia auricula judae is larger size than black mushroom, and the color is slightly reddish. The most common of this type is cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian regions. Fresh mushrooms generally contain 85-89 percent water. Relatively low fat content between 1.08 to 9.4 percent (dry weight) is comprised of free fatty acid mono ditriglieserida, sterols, and phoshpolipida. Carbohydrates exist in the form of glycogen, chitin, and a polymer of N-acetyl glikosamin which is a structural component of fungal cell. Mushrooms are also a source of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, biotin and ascorbic acid. Fungi are generally rich in minerals, especially phosphorus, other minerals of which contained calcium and iron.

Besides its usefulness as a food ingredient, mushroom also serves as food thickeners and cellulose materials. Tionghoa people since long ago until today still believe that slime of mushroom is functioned to neutralize harmful compounds contained in food.

No wonder if there is some kind of food which consists of many food ingredients is added with mushroom. The objective is to neutralize the poison if there is in one of the material.

An American researcher, Dr. Dale Hammerschmidt of Minnesota Medical School said, ear mushroom, if presented in a daily menu can reduce the blood thicken problem and can help the blood circulation.

In traditional Chinese medicine, ear mushroom efficacious to cure some diseases. According to Prof. Zhao Guang Hung, in his paper on lifestyle of middle age people and old people, ear mushroom very beneficial for the treatment of coronary heart disease.

Hung revealed, ear black mushroom is good to lowering blood viscosity and to avoid blockage of blood vessels, especially in the brain. Blood viscosity can be overcome by eating mushroom as much as 50-10 grams daily. So, one kilogram of mushroom can be consumed within 100-200 days. ''It could be mixed into the mushroom or other vegetable soup,''wrote Hung.

He revealed the experience of his patients in Taiwan who recovered from heart coronary and avoid by-pass surgery with using ear black mushroom. Boil mushroom 10 grams, 40 grams of lean meat (lean meat), three slices of ginger, five cloves of garlic, and six bowls of water. It all boiled until the water remaining two bowls, then added a little salt. The water is taken once daily for 45 days.

      Di musim penghujan, banyak tumbuh berbagai jenis jamur di atas kayu lapuk. Jamur-jamur ini ada yang bisa dikonsumsi oleh masyarakat. Namun, ada pula jamur kayu yang sifatnya beracun. Salah satu dari jamur yang terdapat pada menu makanan adalah jamur kuping (Auricularia Sp). Jamur ini tergolong jamur kayu yang paling lama dikenal untuk dikonsumsi.
Bentuk jamur kuping ini seperti kuping (telinga), berwarna kecokelatan tua hingga hitam. Biasanya jamur ini tumbuh bergerombol dan menempel pada kayu lapuk, kulit-kulit pohon mati atau pagar kayu. Selain tumbuh liar, jamur kuping pun mudah dibudidayakan. Di pasaran, jamur kuping ini djual dalam bentuk kering.
Jamur kuping ada dua jenis, yaitu jamur berwarna hitam (Auricularia polytricha) dan berwarna merah (Auricularia auricula judae). Yang berwarna hitam berbentuk seperti daun telinga, berwarna hitam keunguan, dan hidup menempel pada kayu yang cukup basah dan lembab. Jamur jenis ini banyak dibudidayakan di Cina, Thailand, dan beberapa negara di kawasan Indocina.
Auricularia auricula judae berukuran lebih besar dari jamur kuping hitam, dan warnanya sedikit kemerahan. Jenis ini paling umum dibudidayakan di Indonesia, Malaysia, dan kawasan Asia lainnya. Jamur segar umumnya mengandung 85-89 persen air. Kandungan lemak cukup rendah antara 1,08-9,4 persen (berat kering) terdiri atas asam lemak bebas mono ditriglieserida, sterol, dan phoshpolipida. Karbohidrat ada dalam bentuk glikogen, khitin, dan sebuah polimer N-asetil glikosamin yang merupakan komponen struktural sel jamur. Jamur juga merupakan sumber vitamin antara lain thiamin, niacin, biotin dan asam askorbat. Jamur umumnya kaya akan mineral terutama phosphor, mineral lain yang dikandung di antaranya kalsium dan zat besi.
Di samping kegunaannya sebagai salah satu bahan makanan, jamur kuping juga berfungsi sebagai bahan pengental makanan dan penetral. Orang Tionghoa sejak dulu hingga saat ini masih percaya bahwa lendir jamur kuping berkhasiat menetralkan senyawa berbahaya yang terdapat dalam makanan.
Tidak heran jika ada beberapa jenis makanan yang terdiri atas banyak bahan pangan selalu ditambahkan jamur kuping. Tujuannya untuk menetralkan racun jika ada dalam salah satu bahan tadi.
Seorang peneliti Amerika, Dr Dale Hammerschmidt dari Minnesota Medical School mengatakan, jamur kuping jika disajikan dalam menu makanan sehari-hari berkhasiat melancarkan peredaran darah dalam tubuh.
Dalam ilmu pengobatan tradisional Cina, jamur kuping berkhasiat menyembuhkan berbagai macam penyakit. Menurut Prof Hung Zhao Guang, dalam makalahnya tentang gaya hidup warga usia pertengahan dan lanjut usia yang dialihbahasakan oleh Suryono Limputra di Perkumpulan Pancaran Hidup Jakarta, jamur kuping sangat bermanfaat bagi pengobatan jantung koroner.
Hung mengungkapkan, jamur kuping hitam berkhasiat menurunkan kekentalan darah dan menghindari penyumbatan pembuluh darah, terutama di otak. Kekentalan darah ini dapat diatasi dengan mengonsumsi jamur kuping setiap hari sebanyak 5-10 gram. Jadi, satu kilogram jamur kuping bisa dikonsumsi dalam 100-200 hari. ''Bisa saja jamur itu dicampurkan dalam sup atau sayuran lainnya,'' tulis Hung.
Dia membeberkan pengalaman pasiennya di Taiwan yang sembuh dari jantung koroner dan terhindar dari operasi by pass dengan menggunakan jamur kuping hitam. Meraciknya dengan cara merebus 10 gram jamur kuping, 40 gram daging kurus (lean meat), tiga iris jahe, lima siung bawang, dan enam mangkuk air. Itu semua direbus hingga airnya tersisa dua mangkuk, lalu ditambahkan sedikit garam. Airnya diminum setiap hari sekali selama 45 hari.


American Key Food Products (AKFP) said that the company’s newly developed King Lion Premium Cassava Flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, which is commonly used to make tapioca starches, granules and pearls.

The supplier maintains that, unlike other formulations for gluten-free bakery that are composed of multiple flours and starches, its cassava flour can simply replace wheat flour and makes ingredient inventory and label declaration less time consuming.

Carter Foss, technical sales director at AKFP, said that the product, a year in development, has demonstrated in internal tests that it can provide the taste, texture, crumb and baking characteristics equivalent to wheat flour.

Water absorption

He said that the product has also exhibited good moisture retention properties, reducing the amount of flour needed by as much as 25 per cent over wheat flour: “As the starch content in the cassava product is greater than wheat flour it absorbs more of the available water.”

Foss told BakeryandSnacks.com that AKFP had trialled the flour successfully in products such as cookies, white butter and a high ratio chocolate cake: “We have even made pancakes using our flour.”

He said there is ongoing evaluation of the flour with other products including pizza crust, pasta and snacks, with the company currently working with a pasta manufacturer and snacks company in product formulation trials using the cassava flour.

Bread version

According to Foss, a bread version will be available soon and initial trails have been yielding good results.

“We are performing tests to gain a better understanding for ourselves so that we can provide our customers with the knowledge base to help them be successful in their development. We have achieved, in our opinion, the best gluten free artisan bread (versus those in the current market),” he added.

Foss confirmed that commercial production of the flour is to begin in the coming months and that modifications to existing mixing equipment will not be required when incorporating it into a bakery or snack manufacturer’s production process.

Gluten-free growth

The global market for gluten-free food and drink products has grown exponentially in the past five years with a raft of new products hitting the market, and clear leaders are starting to emerge in what was once a niche.

Since it was valued at a modest $580m in 2004, the market has grown at an average annual rate of 29 per cent and last year was worth $1.56bn, according to Packaged Facts, which estimates the market in 2012 could be worth as much as $2.6bn.

On the consumer side, demand has been fuelled by greater diagnosis of coeliac disease, sufferers of which must avoid gluten in everything they eat. The disease currently affects an average of one in 300 people in Europe, one in 200 in Germany and one in 100 in the UK.

There is also a growing belief among sufferers of a wide variety of illnesses (including coeliac disease, autism, attention deficit disorder, irritated bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis) that gluten-free will provide relief - although science and doctors' advice may not back this up.

Manufacturers have been quick to seize upon the opportunity, bringing a raft of gluten-free products to market ranging from cereals and pasta to cookies, crackers, snacks and bread.


     The root comes from Manihot esculenta, also known as manioc or yucca in addition to cassava. The perennial shrub was first domesticated in Central America, where it has been grown for centuries, and cultivation spread to Africa with the discovery of the New World. In addition to the starchy tubers, the leaves of the plant are also edible.

Despite the fact that it often plays an important role in people's diets, cassava root is actually not that nutritious. The leaves of the plant have far more protein and nutritional value than cassava root does, in fact. Cassava root can actually be highly toxic, since it contains cyanide, and it needs to be carefully handled and treated before it can be consumed. It does have the advantage of growing well in poor soil, and being filling when little else is available.

There are two types of cassava. So-called “bitter cassava” has a high level of cyanide, and it must be grated and soaked or left out in the sun to allow the cyanide to disperse before it can be eaten. Once treated, the cassava root can be ground into flour, kept whole in flakes for various dishes, or processed to extract tapioca. “Sweet” cassava has lower levels of cyanide, and it can be peeled and used like a conventional root vegetable.

Dried cassava and cassava flour are used in a wide assortment of dishes such as soups and stews. The starchy vegetable often acts as a thickener and stretcher, making a dish seem more filling than it really is. People who rely heavily on cassava as a source of food may experience nutritional deficiencies, and they are at higher risk of neurological illness as a result of the toxins in the root.

Tapioca is the third largest source of carbohydrates in the world and is a staple food for more than 500 million people. Among crop plants, the cassava plant provides the highest yield of food energy per cultivated area per day, next to sugarcane.

The good of Cassava Roots

Cassava root is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fiber (that has been associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer, and helping control diabetes), iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin b6 and vitamin C. A recent study conducted in the Philippines (one of the countries where cassava is an important crop) looked into the effects of root crops and legumes in lowering cholesterol levels among humans with moderately-raised cholesterol levels.

The study showed that cassava significantly decreased total cholesterol levels, decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (considered as “bad” cholesterol), and may help lower triglyceride levels due to its high total dietary fiber content.

Other studies show that cassava may help support the nervous system and help alleviate stress, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cassava flour does not contain gluten, an allergenic protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. It can be used by gluten intolerant people to replace wheat flour.

Cassava can also be used for French fries instead of potatoes". This made me thinking why we opt for fibreless, nutritional deficient, chemical laden fries when we could always go for a fresher ubi kayu fries!