News | October 13, 2008

Monterey Mushrooms, Inc. Launches Vitamin D Rich Sun Bella Brand Mushrooms In Stores Nationwide

MONTEREY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The nation's largest grower and shipper of mushrooms, Monterey Mushrooms, Inc., is launching their Sun Bella™ brand—the first fresh mushrooms to provide at least 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin D in a single, three-ounce serving (about four or five mushrooms) through a natural sun ripening process.

The Sun Bella™ brand sun ripening process was developed through a collaborative research program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by exposing the mushrooms to ultra violet light, thus increasing the stable level of Vitamin D to a minimum of 100% of the level recommended by the FDA. Sun Bella™ brand mushrooms increase in Vitamin D does not include any additives, supplements, or chemicals and the Vitamin D is stable—maintaining its nutritional value even after cooking or freezing.

Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that naturally contains Vitamin D—obtained through sun exposure the same way humans organically receive the nutrient. But, until now, mushroom growers haven't maximized their Vitamin D benefit, offering very low levels (4% of the daily value) of the pure ingredient.

After more than a year of development, Sun Bella™ brand fresh mushrooms will be available at grocery stores nationwide in late October. The Sun Bella™ brand features brown and white button mushrooms conveniently packaged in a 10-ounce re-sealable bag, clean and ready to eat. Also available is the Sun Grill-A-Bella™ varieties featuring sliced Portabella mushrooms and Portabella caps sold in 8-ounce tray packs.

The mushroom's daily dose of Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium and magnesium in the body, which helps to maintain bone strength.

"The arrival of mushrooms as a very low calorie option for Vitamin D supplementation heralds a giant step in the prevention of Osteoporosis and other Vitamin D related conditions," said Walter S. Newman, Jr., M.D., Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. "Increasingly, Americans are avoiding direct sun exposure and are applying sunscreen to minimize skin wrinkling and skin cancers. The downside to these skin-smart behaviors may be decreased active levels of Vitamin D. Highest risk individuals for low blood levels of Vitamin D are those in northern latitudes, children, seniors and those who spend little time outdoors."

In addition to Vitamin D, Agaricus mushrooms, better known as the White Mushrooms, along with Baby Bella, Portabella, and Shitake mushrooms beat out other popular produce favorites such as lettuce, spinach and tomatoes in riboflavin, niacin, copper, and folate along with other powerful nutrients such as heart-healthy potassium, essential B-vitamins and Selenium—a powerful antioxidant.

Monterey Mushrooms, Inc. was initially established in 1971 as a single farm operation in Royal Oaks, California. Today, this multi-site business is headquartered in Watsonville, California, and has production, sales and administrative offices, internationally.

Monterey is the country's largest and only national marketer of fresh mushrooms, supplying products for sale to supermarkets, foodservice and ingredient manufacture operations, and for preparation of processed, canned, and frozen mushroom products.

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