Volume 12 Part 1 Article 48: Bulk Pasteurization of Compost and Its Impact on Future Prospects of Mushrooms in India

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 48
Year 1989
Title: Bulk Pasteurization of Compost and Its Impact on Future Prospects of Mushrooms in India
Authors: T.R. Shandilya and M.L. Khurana


Pasteurization of mushroom compost is done mainly to eliminate harmful microbes (bacteria, fungi and nematodes) from finished compost. When mushroom growing was started in India in 1962, long method of composting was used but with the introduction of short method of composting (Shandilya, 1976) growers realized that short method of composting in which the pasteurization is done by steam is better than the long method of composting as the yields of mushrooms were far better in such composts (Shandilya, 1979 and Shandilya, 1982).

Bulk pasteurization was introduced in India in 1980 – 81 by FAO/UNDP aided mushroom project with Mr. James Tunney as Project Manager at the Central Composting Unit (CMU) at Solan. Considerable interest also arose in this process in India and about 12 such units have been founded of which six have started producing community compost either for their own use or further supply to others who lack such facilities. The number of chambers in such units varies from one to six with different dimensions. Due to insufficient information available regarding the requirements of this process, research was started in India and chambers constructed at the Central Composting Unit, Solan were used for this purpose. The first step in this direction was the comparison of yields between the bulk pasteurized compost (Tunney-technology, 1978 as we put it) with the traditionally peak heated compost and it was found by Shandilya (1988) that compost made by traditional short method was equally good as far as the yields were concerned. Much has been written about bulk pasteurization of compost (Bech, 1977; d’Hardemare and Talon, 1976 but the extensive research has been done by Gerrits from Netherlands (Gerrits, 1980; 1981; 1982a, 1982b and 1984).

Bulk pasteurization process being new to our country a need for more detailed and comprehensive study was felt and present studies were taken up and as such this article deals with the composition, composting process and method of pasteurization and its comparison with the existing methods.

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