Welsh bakery mushrooms with nutritious cakes thanks to research

Aberystwyth University Future Foods Project Scientists, from left to right: Dr Manfred Beckmann, Professor John Draper and Dr Amanda Lloyd

Aberystwyth University Future Foods Project Scientists, from left to right: Dr Manfred Beckmann, Professor John Draper and Dr Amanda Lloyd

20 October 2022

A north Wales bakery is looking to expand its business by adding health-boosting mushroom powder to make more nutritious cakes, thanks to support from Aberystwyth University researchers.

Llanrwst-based bakers Siwgr a Sbeis have worked with Beddgelert based mushroom growers, Madarch Cymru, to add the powder to their flapjacks.

The two companies joined the Future Foods programme, led by Aberystwyth University, to modify the flapjack recipe to reduce the use of sugars and make them healthier.

The mushrooms grown in Llanerfyl in Powys and in Gwynedd are a good source of vitamin D: vital for keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy, and boost the immune system.

Madarch Cymru’s work has increased vitamin D2 levels in fresh mushrooms when grown under LED light compared to fluorescent light.  Human cohort tests of the mushroom powder in the flapjack have indicated potential inflammation benefits and metabolism changes.

The success of the joint work between the food companies and researchers will be celebrated at a conference held at Aberystwyth today (Thursday 20 October).

Rhian Owen from Siwgr a Sbeis said:

"The research is incredibly exciting. As we look to the future, the results offer us a strong basis for planning new products. The collaboration has been extremely valuable, and that will continue.

“We have already used yoghurt to develop a pannacotta with a lower fat content. And we are hopeful that we can take advantage of the thriving mushrooms that are grown here in the north of Wales.

"Without a doubt, we wouldn't have got where we are without the help of Aberystwyth University. Their support is very important as we look to develop further over the coming years and offers options for us to consider moving forward."


Dr Amanda J Lloyd from Aberystwyth University added:

“It’s great to be able to celebrate the success of the programme. Future Foods has delivered world-class expertise in food science, technology and nutrition research. The collaboration between Siwgr a Sbeis, Madarch Cymru and other partners including Phytoquest and Aerona also shows how the project has helped Welsh businesses develop healthy and commercially successful products, improving their competitiveness and sustainability.”

Cynan Jones from Madarch Cymru added:

"Without a doubt, it has been a great opportunity to collaborate with the University and other businesses on this project. It has opened the door to many opportunities, and there is potential to increase the commercial value of our products. As a result of taking part in this, we have started conversations with other companies who wish to collaborate with us. There is so much potential to build on this important work."

The Future Foods programme at Aberystwyth University was run in collaboration with BIC Innovation and funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.