Volume 12 Part 1 Article 49: Pasteurization of Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) Compost by Non-Conventional Methods

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 49
Year 1989
Title: Pasteurization of Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) Compost by Non-Conventional Methods
Authors: B.L. Dhar and J.N. Kapoor


Around 1915, mushroom compost was allowed to complete thermogenesis in shelved beds within the growing house prior to spawning. As temperatures were attained around 60°C, insect pests and troublesome moulds were killed or reduced to a low level, and generally composts treated in this manner gave more consistent yields. Lambert (1941), demonstrated that compost produced under aerobic conditions at temperatures between 50-60°C (peak heating) was the most suitable for mushroom growing. Technique was later perfected by Sinden and Hauser (1950, 1953) in a procedure known as short method of composting, wherein compost was steam treated in a closed chamber at temperature of 57-59°C for 4-6 hrs for pasteurization followed by controlled fermentation (conditioning) at 48-53°C for 4-5 days for quick growth of useful thermophilic microflora. Later Hayes and Randle (1968) showed that composts in which sucrose or molasses had been incorporated were characteristically free of ammonia at an earlier stage of composting than those without sucrose. This type of compost or any ammonia free compost can be fumigated with methyl bromide in place of normal steam pasteurization procedure.

Formalin and steam have generally been used for the control of some harmful fungi in soil (Warcup, 1951 b).

Solar treatment known as solarization has also been used by some workers to kill soil inhabiting disease causing fungi (Katan, 1981).

In the present investigation some non-conventional means were used for pasteurization or partial sterilization of the mushroom compost.

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