Volume 16 Part 1 Article 24: Investigation of Mushroom Substrate Odors by Chemical and Olfactory Methods

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 24
Year 2004
Title: Investigation of Mushroom Substrate Odors by Chemical and Olfactory Methods
Authors: G. Duns and D.L. Rinker


The adoption of measures to reduce the emission of odors during the Phase I preparation of mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) substrate requires an understanding of the chemical and sensory properties of the odors in question. We have investigated mushroom substrate odors using a combination of gas chromatography and olfactory methods. The findings of an investigation using mushroom substrate produced by traditional windrow Phase I composting indicated that the odors consisted primarily of reduced sulfur compounds, as well as volatile fatty acids and amines. Continuous monitoring of the composting process at a mushroom farm indicated that odor emissions were highest at the end of Phase I, during the turning of the windrows, and during the pre-wet operations involving the use of recycled water. In a study comparing traditional and forced aeration composts prepared at a farm, it was found that forced aeration empirically reduced odor emissions by approximately 80%. This reduction was not statistically significant due to a wide variation in the data for both systems. The results of olfactory evaluations by trained panelists indicated that the odors from either system were on an average rated as moderately intense to slightly unpleasant.

Please login to download the PDF for this proceeding.