Production of Mushrooms Using Agro-Industrial Residues as Substrates

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Abstract

Mushroom cultivation as a prominent biotechnological process for the valorization of agro-industrial residues generated as a result of agro-forestry and agro-industrial production. A huge amount of lignocellulosic agricultural crop residues and agro-industrial by-products are annually generated, rich in organiccompounds that are worthy of being recovered and transformed. A number of these residues have been employed as feedstocks in solid state fermentation (SSF) processes using higher basidiomycetus fungi for the production of mushroom food, animal feed, enzymes and medicinal compounds. Likewise, the above-mentioned microorganisms have been successfully employed in processes related with the bioremediation of hazardous compounds and waste detoxification. Mushroom cultivation presents a worldwide expanded and economically important biotechnological industry that uses efficient solid-state-fermentation process of food protein recovery from lignocellulosic materials. Several aspects of mushroom physiology along with impacts of different environmental and nutritional conditions on mycelium growth and fruiting bodies production are highlined. Moreover, cultivation technologies of Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus spp and Lentinula edodes, comprising spawn (inoculum) production, substrate preparation and mushroom growing process i.e. inoculation, substrate colonization by the cultivated fungus, fruiting, harvesting and processing of the fruiting bodies, are outlined. Finally, the efficiency of residues conversion into fruiting bodies are outlined in two medicinal mushroom genera, Pleurotus and Lentinula, widely cultivated for their nutritional value and extensively researched for their biodegradation capabilities. Experimental data concerning residue-substrates used, as well as biological efficiencies obtained during their cultivation were considered and discussed.