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Title: Huitlacoche (Ustilago maydis), an Iconic Mexican Fungal Resource: Biocultural Importance, Nutritional Content, Bioactive Compounds, and Potential Biotechnological Applications
Authors: Villagrán de la Mora, Blanca Zuamí
Martínez Reyes, Magdalena
Gómez Rodríguez, Horacio
Ríos García, Uzziel
Montalvo González, Efigenia
Ortiz Basurto, Rosa Isela
Anaya Esparza, Luis Miguel
Pérez Moreno, Jesús
Keywords: edible fungi
food security
food diversification
biological activities
health benefits
genetic resource
mycochemical profile
Issue Date: May-2023
Publisher: Spyridon Petropoulos
Citation: Villagrán, Z.; Martínez-Reyes, M.; Gómez-Rodríguez, H.; Ríos-García, U.; Montalvo-González, E.; Ortiz-Basurto, R.I.; Anaya-Esparza, L.M.; Pérez-Moreno, J. Huitlacoche (Ustilago maydis), an Iconic Mexican Fungal Resource: Biocultural Importance, Nutritional Content, Bioactive Compounds, and Potential Biotechnological Applications. Molecules 2023, 28, 4415. https://
Series/Report no.: Molecules;2023, 28(11), 4415
Abstract: Worldwide, the fungus known as huitlacoche (Ustilago maydis (DC.) Corda) is a phytopathogen of maize plants that causes important economic losses in different countries. Conversely, it is an iconic edible fungus of Mexican culture and cuisine, and it has high commercial value in the domestic market, though recently there has been a growing interest in the international market. Huitlacoche is an excellent source of nutritional compounds such as protein, dietary fiber, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. It is also an important source of bioactive compounds with health-enhancing properties. Furthermore, scientific evidence shows that extracts or compounds isolated from huitlacoche have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antiplatelet, and dopaminergic properties. Additionally, the technological uses of huitlacoche include stabilizing and capping agents for inorganic nanoparticle synthesis, removing heavy metals from aqueous media, having biocontrol properties for wine production, and containing biosurfactant compounds and enzymes with potential industrial applications. Furthermore, huitlacoche has been used as a functional ingredient to develop foods with potential health-promoting benefits. The present review focuses on the biocultural importance, nutritional content, and phytochemical profile of huitlacoche and its related biological properties as a strategy to contribute to global food security through food diversification; moreover, the biotechnological uses of huitlacoche are also discussed with the aim of contributing to the use, propagation, and conservation of this valuable but overlooked fungal resource.
Description: Artículo
ISSN: 1420-3049
Appears in Collections:3201 Artículos

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