Agaricus Campestris: fungus used in cooking
Thousands of species
- About 73,000 fungal species are currently known. However, fungal experts believe there may be about 1.4 million fungal species.
The biggest fungus in the world
- In 2000, researchers found in a US forest the largest fungus of all time. About 2300 years old, the megafungus of the species Armillaria Ostoyaand had its tangled hyphae (mycelium) scattered over an area corresponding to 45 football stadiums. By having a yellowish color, the megafungo has earned the nickname "honey mushroom".
The terror of the plantations
- One of the most feared fungal species in agriculture is the Vastatrix Hemileia. This fungus is the cause of a disease (coffee rust) that can devastate entire coffee crops.
The angel of the plantations
- There are also species beneficial to agriculture. The fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae It is widely used to combat pests (leafhoppers, beetles and other insect species) that attack the crop.
The friend of liquor producers
- The fungus of the genus Saccharomyces It is the great ally of the producers of alcoholic beverages. This fungus is used in the alcoholic fermentation process that turns sugar into ethyl alcohol in beer and wine production.
The domestic destroyer
- Leaving wooden objects, paper, cotton clothing and even movies in damp, dimly lit places is a risk. Fungi easily develop in these environments by decomposing these materials.
The Friend of Bakers and Confectioners
- The fungus of the genus saccharomyces is widely used in the fermentation process of bread doughs, cakes, cookies, pies and so on. This fungus releases carbon dioxide during fermentation, making the dough grow.
The enemy of bacteria
Many antibiotics are made from fungal culture. These antibiotics are used to combat various diseases. Penicillin, for example, was created in 1929 by Alexander Fleming from the fungus culture of the genus Penicillium Notatum.
- Some species of multicellular fungi are widely used in cooking. This is the case of champignons, known scientifically by the name of Agaricus Campestris.