The cultivation of oyster mushroom was started in 1950 in Germany in large scale. Hungary contributed to the conquest of the mushroom world with research and technological developments. In the 1960s, László Tóth and Imre Heltai developed the artificial cultivation of oyster mushroom in straw in large-scale method and the present day, the so-called HK35 variety bred by Paul Gyurkó is the most widely grown in the world. The global oyster mushroom cultivation is around 8-900 thousand tons / year. The most significant growing countries are China, South-Korea, Japan, in Europe Italy, Spain, Belgium, Hungary and Poland. Nowadays this mushroom which is beneficial for our health is becoming increasingly popular among consumers, thanks to powerful, intense flavor and the easy, convenient cultivation. It can be bought in larger markets or from backyard producers throughout the year, it is relatively cheap and has a lot of way to prepare.
Its nutritional content is similar to button mushroom, but its digestibility is better, because the chitin content of its cell wall is less. The most valuable is the protein content which is only 2.5% of the dry matter but its 93-94% is digestible. Its composition is similar to meatprotein, it contains more indispensable (essential) amino acids such as button mushroom. It is low in fat and carbohydrates so it is low in calories as other edible mushrooms. Its mineral content is not high, but the potassium, magnesium and phosphorus content is remarkable and from the trace elements its zinc, aluminum, boron and copper content is favorable. It has very little sodium content, so it has a very good potassium and sodium ratio. It contains also recently considered important selenium. Regarding to the vitamin content of oyster mushroom, vitamin B group is of most important. While 100 g vegetables usually cover the daily requirement of an adult in 15%, 100 g oyster mushroom cover 20%, 35-40% of B2 and almost all the daily needs of B3; its folic acid content which helps the absorption of vitamin B12, provides the total daily requirements.
Its health benefits are demonstrated in many animal experiments. In tThe modern Chinese medicine, oyster mushroom dust is used for vascular system strengthening and against limb rigidity. It reduces blood cholesterol level, its aqueous extract was effective in case of some tumors in mice. Oyster mushroom taken during long time activates the immune system. It is effective in case of certain flu virus, the aquous liquid of some oyster mushrooms has antibiotic activity. Specific fragrances inhibit certain bacteria. Nowadays these materials of oyster mushroom have already been idetified and from these therapeutic compositions may be prepared.