`Olive Pomace Patented as Substrate for Mushroom Growth - Olive Oil Times

Olive Pomace Patented as Substrate for Mushroom Growth

By Naomi Tupper
Jul. 16, 2012 10:11 UTC

Yet another poten­tial use for olive oil pro­cess­ing waste has recently been patented by the University of Granada spin off com­pany MISUR, which has devel­oped a sub­strate for mush­room growth based on the olive oil waste prod­uct known as alpe­rujo — or pomace.

The prod­uct, obtained from one of the residues left over after the crush­ing and extrac­tion of olive oil in mills, is mar­keted by the com­pany as a fer­til­izer in bags which also con­tain mush­rooms.

As a sub­strate for the growth of mush­rooms, the prod­uct has a num­ber of advan­tages, apart from being an envi­ron­men­tally friendly way to uti­lize the many tons of waste from the olive oil pro­duc­tion process that are pro­duced every year.

Benefits of the new sub­strate include higher pro­duc­tion as a result of the high nitro­gen con­tent of the alpe­rujo, which acts as a nutri­ent for the mush­rooms, as well as the pres­ence of polyphe­nols that act as nat­ural fungi­cides that give resis­tance against fun­gal infec­tions. Research in Argentina has also sup­ported the tech­nique, show­ing the addi­tion of olive oil waste prod­ucts to maize- and gar­lic-based sub­strates was ben­e­fi­cial for mush­room growth.

The new prod­uct is a fol­low on from pre­vi­ous organic sub­strates for mush­room growth pro­duced by MISUR, a com­pany that focuses on the uti­liza­tion of agri­cul­tural wastes such as cereal straw with acid­ity reg­u­la­tors, nutri­ents and fungi seeds, which are known as mycelia. The addi­tion of the olive oil byprod­uct to these types of sub­strates pro­vides extra mate­r­ial for the fungi to degrade and use as fer­til­izer for growth.

The Spanish com­pany is cur­rently focus­ing on the com­mon mush­room and shi­itake vari­eties, the lat­ter of which has a high gas­tro­nomic value in Spain despite its Asian ori­gins, and is the first com­pany to pro­duce organic sub­strates for both species.

Using olive oil waste as a sub­strate for mush­rooms has pre­vi­ously been seen as an effec­tive tech­nique to neu­tral­ize the pol­lu­tant effect of olive oil waste that is pro­duced in such large amounts through­out the Mediterranean region. However, it has not been suc­cess­fully mar­keted for the growth of edi­ble fun­gus before now.

MISUR prod­ucts are cur­rently being mar­keted through­out the region of Andalucia in south­ern Spain.


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