Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Abstract Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) leached with water or treated with chelating agents to remove metal cations, pasteurised to remove any harmful micro-organisms and mixed with peat has potential as a casing material for mushroom production. The microbial and chemical changes in SMS after treatment with citric acid, ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and water were compared; treatment with the chelating agents resulted in lower ash content, conductivity and minerals, higher fibre fractions, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. The microbial and chemical changes in the materials after treatment with the two chelators and water were compared. Blending peat with the heat-treated materials at a ratio of 1:1 resulted in improved physical properties. The casings prepared from the test materials and the control, consisting of 100% peat, were compared after neutralising with lime for their productivity in a mushroom yield trial. As expected, the compost bags cased with the control were the most productive compared to the other casings. Of the three treated materials, casing prepared from SMS treated with EDTA blended with peat was the most productive. Dry matter of harvested mushrooms from chelated-SMS casings was significantly higher than the control casing. Comparison of the main components of peat and chelated SMS revealed that the major differences were in the proportions of ash, lipid, lignin and fibre fractions. The stability of some of these components, when complexed with metal cations present in lime may play an important role in determining the composition of the cell wall in fruiting bodies leading to high dry matter content.
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