Consumption of mushroom has increased remarkably because of their desirable aroma, taste and high nutritional content. Wild edible mushrooms (WEM) are well known for their nutritious and antioxidant properties. This study was conducted to measure and compare the antioxidant activity, total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) of six WEM from selected indigenous Tanzanian forests and one domesticated grown form in methanolic extracts. Results show that among the seven mushroom species extracts, the methanolic extract from Auricularia judae showed the most potent radical scavenging activity of 93.33% while Panus conchatus revealed lowest antioxidant activities of 46.53%. The strongest EC50 was observed in Auricularia judae 0.08 mg/ml while weakest was in P. conchatus >0.3 mg/ml. Nevertheless total phenolics in the methanolic extracts were the highest in P. tenuiculus (431.03±3.63 mg GAE/100 g) and lowest in Macrolepiota procera (136.21±0.98 mgGAE/100 g). Lentinus squarrosulus possessed highest content of β-carotene and flavonoids were 48.15±1.04 mg/100 g and 25.62±1.78 mg/100 g, respectively meanwhile the lowest concentration was found in wild L. sajor-caju 5.35±0.68 mg/100 g and 2.49±1.28 mg/100 g, respectively. Comparatively, domesticated mushroom showed higher scavenging ability of 76.61% than its wild counterparts 62.94%. In conclusion, high antioxidant activity in methanolic extract of WEM due to presence of phenolic content can potentially be used as a source of natural antioxidants.
Key words: Wild edible mushrooms, antioxidant activity, polyphenols flavonoids.