The Pleurotus mushroom is generally referred to as `Oyster Mushroom' or `Dhingri' in India. It is a basidiomycete and belongs to the Genus `Pleurotus'. The fruit bodies of this mushroom are distinctly shell, fan or spatula shaped with different shades of white, cream, grey, yellow, pink or light brown depending upon the species. The oyster mushroom is one of the most suitable fungal organism for producing protein rich food from various agrowastes without composting.
Oyster mushrooms are 100% vegetarian and the nutritive value of oyster mushroom is as good as other edible mushrooms like white button mushroom, shiitake, or paddy straw mushroom. They are rich in vitamin - C and B complex. Protein content varies between 1.6 to 2.5%. It has most of the mineral salts required by the human body such as potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron and calcium. The niacin content is about ten times higher than any other vegetables. A polycyclic aromatic compound pleurotin has been isolated from P.griseus which possess antibiotic properties.