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Scientists ecstatic over discovery in mushrooms

Date Posted: 2008-09-26

Mushrooms aren’t new, but scientists are literally gushing over the discovery of sugar contained in mushrooms.

“It’s really an epoch discovery in the world, and it’s the very first time in the world, too, “says Professor Hideharu Ishida of the University of Gifu’s Applied Chemistry Department, referring to an Okinawa colleague’s discovery of a new sugar in mushrooms. The new sugart ype is 6-methyl D-Alto Rose, discovered by Professor Masakuni Takou of Ryukyu University’s Agriculture Department.

“We thought we knew about this sugar a hundred years ago,” said Takou, “but we couldn’t find it. Our study began in 2006 to search for it.” He said he and his students continued the study this year, working together with Gifu University and Kanagawa University. Takou credits everyone working as a team for the discovery. He says everyone knew mushrooms harvested in the Fall season were particularly good, “but nobody thought about sugar in the mushroom. When we did an analysis, we found the sugar was different from what we’d always known.”

Gifu University’s Professor Ishida says “there are various functions for living things inside sugar. Now that we’ve found the new sugar, it means there will be various functions yet to be found.”

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