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UTILIZATION OF CORN WASTES FOR

OYSTER MUSHROOM PRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Oyster mushroom is becoming an important crop in the Philippines. It is one of


the agricultural crops gaining popularity and importance commercially. The demand for
mushroom is evidently high especially in the urban areas where numerous hotels and
restaurants are located.
The oyster mushroom has a pleasant, oyster-like flavor. This mushroom grows in
bracket-like clusters on decaying tree trunks. It is almost stemless. The fleshy, tender cap
is 8 to 13 cm (3 to 5 in) across, tawny olive-colored when young, but fades with age
(Microsoft Encarta, 2006)
Oyster mushrooms are by far the easiest and the least expensive to grow among
the edible mushrooms. For small cultivators with limited budgets, oyster mushrooms are
the clear choice for gaining entry into the gourmet mushroom industry. Few other
mushrooms demonstrate such adaptability, aggressiveness and productivity as these
species of Pleurotus. Also, more than any other mushrooms, Pleurotus species can best
serve to reduce hunger in developing nations, and to revitalize rural economies.
It is a delicacy to numerous people due to its exceedingly high food value
particularly in protein, vitamins and minerals making it a good substitute for meat.
Mushroom cultivation in the region or province is very limited in spite of the
environment which is very suitable for mushroom production. This limitation is attributed
to not only to the improper dissemination of available information to the farmers but also
due to the lack of practical technologies which local farmers could avail of. Thus efforts
are needed to produce technologies which make use of indigenous materials, one of
which are corn wastes that could be used as substrate or the nonliving material or base on
which an organism lives or grows.
This study aims to:
1. Evaluate the performance of corncobs and corn bran as spawn (a mass of
fungal threads mycelium for starting a new culture of the fungus) materials for
oyster mushroom;
2. Evaluate the performance of this wastes as substrate for mushroom
production; and
3. Determine the economics of using corncobs and corn bran on spawn and
mushroom production.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Nutritional Content
Mushrooms are full of nutrients and can make a very important contribution to
human nutrition. Their protein content is highly comparable to some common vegetables.
Although they cannot compete with meat, fish and Eggs, their protein content is almost
equal to corn, milk and legumes and definitely higher than other leafy and root vegetables
and fruits (Quimio, 1997)
Quimio (1996) said as cited by Buya (1999), mushrooms also rank quite high in
their vitamin content. Although devoid of vitamin A, mushrooms contain significant
amounts of riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. They are also good sources of essential
minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Low in cholesterol and calories, mushroom are
often referred to as “slimming food”
Cultivation
The nutritional requirements of obligate parasites are not fully known. However,
the requirements of the saprotrophs (those that feed on dead matter) and hemiparasites (or
semi-parasites) are have been investigated for the growth and reproduction of most fungi,
the nutrient solutions must contain the following: (Kaul, 1997)
a. Carbon source – usually a carbohydrate, glucose being most favored.
b. A nitrogen source – organic and inorganic sources of nitrogen are utilized.
Different fungi have different requirements.
c. A sulfur source – sulfur is required in small quantities, but is essential.
Sulfates are most satisfactory as a source of sulfur.
d. A phosphorus source – phosphorus is also essential and phosphates are
generally satisfactory as a source of phosphorus for fungi.
e. Certain metallic or trace elements – potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron,
manganese are required in minute quantities for their optional growth and
reproduction.
f. Some fungi require an extraneous supply of vitamins.
With this information, a lot of studies were made to determine quality substrate
for growing mushrooms.
As stated by Serafica (1999), peanut and munggo pods as substrate performed
well in terms of growth, incubation and quality of spawn produced.
Lesino (1995) reported that composted pine needles + rice bran produced white,
very thick and fast growing mycelia. Also, the utilization of composted and uncomposted
pine needles for oyster mushroom production is not advisable because of the low
biological yield and biological efficiency resulting to a negative return on investment.
As revealed by Martes (1991), the utilization of rice straw-supplemented leaves of
chayote gave the highest spawn biological yield, biological efficiency and highest sales in
spawn and mushroom.
In the study conducted by Tudayan (1991), the utilization of the unsupplemented
banana stalks, banana midribs and rice straw as substrates for oyster mushroom spawn
and mushroom production are feasible because of the high net returns as indicated by the
high biological yield and biological efficiency resulting to a high return on investment as
compared to banana leaves supplemented with rice bran.
Balisto wrote that the “dapo-dapo” sawdust supplemented with either azolla or
rice bran maintained a yield superior to that of the ordinary sawdust supplemented with
rice bran. However, both of them were able to support mushroom growth due to their
ability to supply the optimum nutrition for the mushroom.
Olanio (1995) found that tiger grass seeds are good supplement to banana leaves
but not recommended to be used as pure substrate.
Nato (1995) as cited by Gambala (1999), showed that scrap bond paper, pad paper
and Manila paper produced desirable quality in terms of thick, white and fast growing
mycelia. Thick, white but slow growing mycelia were observed on newspaper and rice
bran-supplemented sawdust.
MATERIALS AND METHODS

Spawn Production

Materials and Treatments


The materials to be used are corncobs, corn bran, rice bran, sawdust,
polypropylene plastic bags, alcohol burner, master spawn of Pleurotus, stapler and
laminar flow.
The treatments are:
T0 – Sawdust (80%) + rice bran (20%)
T1 – Corn bran (80%) + rice bran (20%)
T2 – Corncobs (80%) + rice bran (20%)
T3 – Corncobs alone
T4 – Corn bran alone
T5 – Corn bran + corncobs (1:1)

Preparation of Spawn Substrate


Collect corn wastes from farms and sundry. Chop these into uniform length i.e. 2
cm for convenience in drying as well as packing. Place all dried and chopped materials
in properly labeled containers. Soak these individually overnight in a barrel filled with
clean water. Allow these to drip before squeezing to reduce moisture content to at least
50%. After obtaining proper moisture, pack the different substrates in polypropylene
plastic bags (6 in. x 12 in.). Label according to the corresponding treatments. Seal plastic
bags by properly folding the open end and staple it. Sterilize by autoclave for 2-3 hours at
15 pounds per square inch (psi)

Inoculation
Allow sterilized substrates to cool and inoculate with previously prepared spawn
of P. sajor-caju. Do this aseptically under the laminar flow.
Incubation
Incubate the inoculated substrates inside a dark room with temperature maintained
at 24 – 28˚C until the bottom of the plastic bags have been fully saturated with mycelia.

Biological Yield
Open sample mature spawns to produce mushrooms in order to estimate expected
mushroom yield from each bag.

Data Gathering
The data to be gathered are:
1. Weekly growth of mycelia (cm). This is measured as the height of mycelial
growth from the point of inoculation to mycelial until the spawn bags were
fully saturated with mycelial growth.
2. Spawn incubation period (day). This refers to the number of days from
inoculation time to the time that spawns are ready to use as indicated by the
appearance of initials, i.e. the pinheads.
3. Spawn’s quality. This is described in terms of color, thickness of growth and
speed of growth.
4. Number of flushes. This refers to the number of times that mushrooms are
harvested from spawned bag which is allowed to produce mushrooms.
5. Total spawn biological yield (g). This is the sum of mushroom harvested and
weighed from each spawned bag which was allowed to produce mushrooms.
6. Spawn biological yield (SBE). This refers to the efficiency of the spawn
material to be converted into mushrooms, computed as:
SBE = Total spawn biological yield x 100%
Weight of spawn material
7. Return on Investment (ROI). All the expenses incurred are to be recorded.
The total sales from different treatments and return in investment (ROI) are
computed using the formula:
ROI= Gross sales-Total expenses x 100
Total expenses
LITERATURE CITED

BALISTO, D.N. 1992. Utilization of “dapo-dapo” sawdust as main substrate


supplemented with leaves of Leucaena glarica, Glirisidia sepium, Ventura spp.,
and Azolla spp., for oyster mushroom (Pleurotus sajor-caju) production.
Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University. La Trinidad, Benguet. p.19
BUYA, J.T. 1999. Performance of cold-treatment Plerotus hybridus (gray) bags during
wet season. Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University. La Trinidad,
Benguet. p. 4
GAMBALA, M.B. 1999. Cold Treatment of spawns and growing bags of oyster
mushroom (Pleurotus sajor-caju) Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State
University. La Trinidad, Benguet. Pp. 4-5
KAUL, T.N. 1997 Introduction to Mushroom Science (Systematics). New Hampshire,
USA: Science Publishers. p. 31
LESINO, J.P. 1995. Utilization of pine needles for oyster mushroom production.
Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet. p. 18
MARTES, N.A. 1991. Utilization of rice straw-supplemented indigenous highland
agricultural waste for oyster mushroom (Plerotus sajor-caju) production.
Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University. La Trinidad, Benguet. Pp.
32-33
OLANIO, N.W. 1995. Utilization of tiger grass as supplemented to banana leaves for
oyster mushroom production. Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University.
La Trinidad, Benguet. p. 18
QUIMIO, T.H. 1997. Let’s Grow Mushrooms. Los Baños, Laguna: The UPLB Meseum
of Natural History at Los Baños College, Laguna. p. 2
SERAFICA, E. A. 1991. Evaluation on indigenous farm wastes for oyster mushroom
(Pleurotus sajor-caju) spawn production. Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet
State University, La Trinidad, Benguet. p. 31
STEVENSON, J.A. and P.L. LENTZ. 2005. Mushroom. Microsoft® Encarta® 2006
[CD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation
TUDAYAN, R.K. 1991. Utilization of banana wastes for oyster mushroom (Pleurotus
sajor-caju) production. Unpublished BS Thesis. Benguet State University.
LaTrinidad, Benguet. Pp. 25-26