Mushroom machine almost ready to go

  • Sep. 22, 2006 7:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-A space-age food dehydrator is being set up in a Queen Charlotte warehouse and Lynda Dixon of the Haida Gwaii Local Food Co-op expects the machine will be up and running by the end of the month.
Ms Dixon has big plans for local mushrooms using a vacuum microwave dehydrator developed by a team of researchers at the University of BC.
The high tech process agitates the mushrooms’ water molecules in a vacuum, causing them to evaporate from the inside out. The result is a dried mushroom that maintains its shape and can be easily reconstituted.
She says the results are delicious and far superior to a regular dried mushroom.
A team at Royal Roads University is helping with the marketing plans for the product, but Ms Dixon says the mushrooms will also be featured at a food security conference in Vancouver next month. They will be served during a harvest celebration feast, and she is hoping to catch the taste buds of a prominent chef.
She says a local fishing lodge is also interested in the mushrooms, as the new technology means they would be able to serve chanterelles out of season to their guests.
The co-op plans to have people stationed at Skidegate Lake to purchase mushrooms.
If all goes well with mushrooms, the co-op hopes to look at other products like berries, seaweed and even basil.
The co-op has around 20 members and is always looking for more. Ms Dixon says people can call 559-8202 to get an application or e-mail localfoods@hgqci.org.

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