Volume 16 Part 1 Article 82: Mushroom Cultivation: Building Mold Contamination

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 82
Year 2004
Title: Mushroom Cultivation: Building Mold Contamination
Authors: A.W. Chen and M. Moy


The optimal conditions for the cultivation of mushrooms, such as a high relative humidity, warm temperature and the fluctuation of these factors, as well as the absence of light during spawn run, are ideal for the development of mold contaminants. Mushroom growers need to be aware that “building mold contamination” is not only potentially damaging to the mushroom crop, but also may threaten the health of mushroom workers. Noted here will be the danger of toxic molds, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus flavus and Penicillium spp., which are associated with “sick building syndrome”. Moreover, volatile organic compounds produced by these fungi, for example, tricothecene and aflatoxin, can be carcinogenic. Symptoms in humans associated with several notorious mold contaminants are described, and preventive and remedial measures are discussed. Of utmost importance are the ventilation and drainage systems, clean air, use of appropriate building construction materials and the separation of the mushroom cultivation operation from the handling of non-sterile materials. The six vectors of contamination and the importance of hygiene in mushroom cultivation, beginning with a well-designed infrastructure, are emphasized.

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