Volume 13 Part 2 Article 34: Influence Of Husbandry Factors on the Quality of Fresh Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)

Volume 13 Part 2 Article 34
Year 1991
Title: Influence Of Husbandry Factors on the Quality of Fresh Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)
Authors: A.T. Carey and T.P. O’Connor


Fresh mushroom quality parameters of greatest significance to consumers are freshness, whiteness, size, shape, degree of maturity and absence of gross defects. Husbandry factors such as status of compost, casing, environment, watering regime, pests and diseases, time of harvesting and mushroom strain have a major influence on the quality of the crop. Physical and chemical properties of the compost influence mycelial growth and,ultimately mushroom size and uniformity. Time and depth of casing can be manipulated to control the size and dry matter content of the sporophores. Moisture stress in the casing is the main cause of hard gill and premature opening defects. Size, shape, uniformity and cleanliness of mushrooms are influenced by environmental temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide concentrations during the growth cycle. Bacterial blotch (Pseudomonas tolaasii) is the most prevalent disease affecting quality, causing severe discolouration of the mushroom caps. Depending upon market requirements, it is critical that the crop is harvested at the correct stage of development. Method of harvesting also has a significant impact on quality. Mushroom strain influences all quality characteristics and provides scope for quality improvement through strain selection, hybridization and, potentially, genetic engineering.

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