Volume 12 Part 2 Article 23: The Cultivation of the Oyster Mushroom – Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq. Ex Fr.) Kummer – on Cocoa Shell Waste

Volume 12 Part 2 Article 23
Year 1989
Title: The Cultivation of the Oyster Mushroom – Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq. Ex Fr.) Kummer – on Cocoa Shell Waste
Authors: J.K. Senyah, R.K. Robinson and J.F. Smith

Abstract:

‘Food From Waste’ was the theme for an international symposium during which the suggestion was made that the mounting waste materials from increased agriculture and industry should be converted to products of economic importance, preferably food. Such utilization process might be easier and more economical if the wastes were derived from already established food industries, and where the by-products contain large quantities of lignin and cellulose. These latter materials are recalcitrant to common biological activities, and their disposal usually attracts negative funding in addition to causing health hazards.

However, edible fungi are able to utilize these materials in a relatively inexpensive process to produce food. In the past, straw was the only material utilized for mushroom production, and Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Sing, was, and is still, the main cultivated mushroom. Today, as a result of intensive research into the economics of mushroom production, their food value (Crisan and Sands, 1978; Chang and Hayes, 1978) and health benefits (Mori, 1974), several waste materials are being utilized, and different species of edible fungi are being cultivated. Some of the cultivated edible fungi and some of the ligno-cellulosic wastes being exploited for their cultivation include:

Volvanella volvacea (Bull Ex. Fr.) Smg. using cotton waste (Chang, 1972; Yau and Chang, 1972, Hu et al., 1973; Chang, 1974); and using sawdust and banana leaves (Ho, 1973); Lentinus edodes (Berk) Smg. using sawdust or wood (San Antonio, 1981);

P. ostreatus using cotton waste (Leong, 1982; Ho, 1985); using paddy straw (Khanna and Garcha, 1981); using sawdust and rice bran (Quimio, 1977) ; using wheat straw (Zadrazil, 1976) ; using waste paper (Hashimoto and Takahashi, 197 6); and using coffee pulp (Martinez, 1984, 1985).

Cocoa shells are an industrial ligno-cellulosic waste material produced at cocoa and chocolate factories, especially in the industrialized countries and it forms 12 – 14 % of the roasted cocoa bean. Although it contains substantial quantities of lignin, cellulose, nitrogen and other substances, the disposal of cocoa shells is mainly by dumping or burning. Based on the chemical composition, a better method of disposal may be found in fungal, solid-state fermentation leading to mushroom production in general, and with P. ostreatus in particular.Cocoa shells are an industrial ligno-cellulosic waste material produced at cocoa and chocolate factories, especially in the industrialized countries and it forms 12 – 14 % of the roasted cocoa bean. Although it contains substantial quantities of lignin, cellulose, nitrogen and other substances, the disposal of cocoa shells is mainly by dumping or burning. Based on the chemical composition, a better method of disposal may be found in fungal, solid-state fermentation leading to mushroom production in general, and with P. ostreatus in particular.

Pleurotus spp. are largely cultivated in Japan, but they are gaining in prominence in Europe and throughout Asia (Chang, 1980; Chang and Miles, 1982). Pleurotus is the second most important mushroom in Europe (Lelley, 1982), and is cultivated in Italy (Edwards, 1977) as well as in France, Spain and Germany (Mushroom Information, 1985). The main objective of this present work is to utilize cocoa shell waste for the cultivation of P^ ostreatus, and studies have been conducted on the pH and water content of the substrate required for rapid mycelial growth, as well as on the relevant chemical constituents, namely, cellulose, lignin, nitrogen and soluble carbohydrates. The cultivation of the fungus in both heat-treated and composted cocoa shells using both rye grain spawn and ‘active mycelium’ has been investigated.

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