Mushroom Production Technology

The Department of Science and Technology and the Catanduanes State Colleges jointly sponsored the conduct of training on Mushroom Spawn Production at the CSC Extension Services Center last August 18-21, 2010. The was participated by representatives from DAR Catanduanes, LGU San Miguel, Bato, and Professors and Students from the CSC Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Agriculture and Fisheries.

Said activity is just the beginning of a series of trainings aimed at promoting the production of this important foodstuff and along the way develop local expertise in the production of mushroom seed-piece called pure culture, or spawn. Catanduanes is producing enormous volumes of abaca wastes from the close to 38,000 hectares, more or less, of abaca plantation throughout the province. These are important substrates for the production of Volvariella volvaceae, or the kabuteng saging/kabuteng dayami. In the lifetime of an abaca plant or up to the time it is harvested for fiber, it produce an estimated ½ - 1 m2 of wastes (dried leaves, tuxy, bakbak and stripping waste). In just about 12 days, through the application of technology, we can produce at least 5-8 kg of fresh mushroom from such volume, where harvest can be scheduled (no more waiting for thunderstorm). Many other agricultural wastes like rice straw, corn and sorghum stubbles, etc. can also be used as mushroom bed.

Different species of mushroom require specific substrates and this brings slightly varied but beneficial nutritional properties. It is best to learn more about mushroom and the internet is one of the rich sources of information. Nevertheless, almost anything about mushroom come with the corresponding technologies.

Why is mushroom important? The importance of mushroom lies on its nutritional values, nutrients that are needed by the human body in small amount, mostly are not provided by the normal daily diet, but perform tremendous functions beneficial to health. Mushroom is known to prevent cancer, some species were also found to reduce cholesterol, and perhaps because various essential elements are available it is believed to be an aphrodisiac. The Ganoderma and Agaricos, for example, whose components are claimed to be found in many energy or health food supplements today, are actually mushrooms. What cannot be over emphasized about this commodity is its important role in the nourishment of rural children who because of lack of family income has limited access to sources of vitamins, minerals, and proteins and amino acids which are vital for development, including the brain. We thus recognize the importance of this technology to families nestled in remote areas. The following are the nutrition facts about mushroom:

Mushrooms are excellent source of potassium. In fact, it is said that there is more potassium in mushroom than banana. Since potassium helps lower blood pressure and diminished the risk of stroke, thus this is recommended to people suffering from hypertension. Mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral that has cardio-protective properties. A single serving of mushroom is said to provide about 20 to 40 percent of the daily needs of copper.

Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. White button mushroom have been found to restrain the activity of aromatase, an enzyme involved in estrogen production, and 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. Researches have suggested that white button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Extracts of white button mushrooms has been found to help diminish cell proliferation as well as tumor size.

Shiitake mushrooms comprise of Lentinan, a beta-glucan has been associated with stimulation of the immune system and thus, believed to be helpful as anti AIDS. It also helps fight infection and exhibits anti-tumor property.

Being rich in fiber, protein and Vitamin B, mushrooms help maintain a healthy metabolism. It has been found that mushroom extract helps stop migraine headaches and is beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses, like obsessive-compulsive disorder. Oyster mushrooms are said to be useful in strengthening of veins and relaxation of the tendons.

(The Vegetarian September, V. Lloyd-Davies 1992)

Note: The Nutrition Data given above are without warranty, and are not intended to replace the advice of nutritionist or health-care professionals.

By JAIME V. CABRERA, Provincial S&T Director
Source: DOST Catanduanes
September 10,2010