Mushrooms enriched with vitamin D to help keep you healthy during the darker winter months

27 Sep 2016

Brits will soon have an easy and delicious way to heed the advice of health experts and meet their recommended daily amount of vitamin D during the winter months.

This week Tesco will exclusively launch the UK’s first ever range of mushrooms which are grown in extra light to naturally enhance their vitamin D levels similar to wild outdoor grown varieties.

Mushrooms contain a substance called ergosterol which allows them to naturally make vitamin D when they are exposed to light.

The launch of the new range includes Chestnut, Baby Chestnut and Portobello mushrooms.

It follows a recent report by health experts who are concerned that people do not get enough vitamin D – needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy – 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.

“Just one portion- around four Chestnut or one to two Portobello mushrooms – in your Spaghetti Bolognese is all it takes.”

Vitamin D, which helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, is found naturally in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat, egg yolks and mushrooms.

It is also naturally created in our bodies when exposed to sunshine.

Updated advice from Public Health England in July said that ‘in spring and summer, the majority of the population get enough vitamin D through sunlight on the skin and a healthy, balanced diet. During autumn and winter, everyone will need to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D.’

The mushrooms are grown exclusively for Tesco by Monaghan Mushrooms who are based in the Republic of Ireland.

Vicki Psarias, founder of Honest Mum, an award-winning parenting and lifestyle online magazine said: “Knowing that I don’t have to rely on the British weather over the winter months for my family to get their vitamin D, is fantastic news.

“It’s even better that we’re able to get the vitamin from something as simple as fresh mushrooms, which is something that we eat every week.”


Note to editors

The mushrooms are clearly marked with a sticker that they are enriched with vitamin D.

The new Tesco range will include the following chestnut mushroom varieties –

  • Vitamin D Chestnut mushrooms – 250g pack
  • Vitamin D Portobello mushrooms – 150g pack
  • Vitamin D Baby Chestnut mushrooms – 150g pack

 A 100g portion is on average four to five Chestnut mushrooms,14 Baby Button mushrooms  or one to two Portobello mushrooms.

In 1923 American scientist Harry Steenbock discovered that by giving UV light to some foods and organic materials it could cure rickets in those who ate the food.

The process became well known for milk at this time during the 1920s. However, it was never explored for use with mushrooms until the 1990s when Finnish university researchers started to look at it.

In 2010 Monaghan Mushrooms started to develop a commercial process for giving mushrooms 100 per cent of the daily vitamin D need in only one serving.


A simple recipe for Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Serves 4


2 large vitamin D Portobello mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and ground black pepper

4 crusty ciabatta buns

crisp lettuce

sliced tomatoes

hummus to serve


  1. Place the mushrooms in a shallow dish; add the oil, garlic and seasoning and toss until the mushrooms are evenly coated. Leave to marinate for at least 10mins.
  2. Cook the mushrooms under the grill on a griddle pan for 8-10mins turning once until browned on both sides and tender when tested with a fork. Transfer to a plate, gill side down and leave for 5mins.
  3. Toast the ciabatta rolls on the hot barbecue coals. Fill with lettuce, tomato and top with the mushrooms. Delicious served with hummus spooned over.


For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01707 918 701    
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