Agro-Waste for Cultivation of Edible Mushrooms in Taiwan

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Different kinds of agricultural and food wastes have been used or tried for growing various edible mushrooms in the world (Akinyele and Akinyosoye 2005, Peng 1989, Ragunathan et al. 1996, Rajkumar and Dharmara 1999). These wastes are produced in big volumes during production of agricultural products every year causing lots of environmental problems in many countries (Belewu and Banjo 2000, Chang 1999). Only a very small part of these agro-wastes has been properly converted into useful or high-value products. Production of edible or medicinal mushroom is a successful example of agro-waste recycling (Chiu et al. 2000). Nowadays, the most extensively used agro-wastes for production of edible mushrooms are wheat or rice straw, sawdust or wood chip, sugarcane bagasse, cotton waste and cotton seed hull, corn cob, rice or wheat bran, chicken or horse manure. Other green materials, such as cotton stalk and soybean straw (Panjabrao et al. 2007), coffee pulp (Martinez-Carrera 1989) etc. have also been used or tried for growing edible mushrooms in some countries. In Taiwan, the most popular agro-waste for mushroom cultivation are rice straw, cotton waste, sawdust or wood chip, rice or wheat bran, and chicken manure (Peng 1989). These agro-wastes with or without fertilizers or other nutrient supplements have been converted into many edible and medicinal mushrooms creating a total value of more than US$0.24 billion (farm gate price) per year contributing to the prosperous economy of rural areas and the development of the mushroom industry in Taiwan (Ho and Peng 2006).

Jin-Torng Peng
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center