Mushrooms highly nutritious – FRI

Oyster mushrooms are excellent foods, highly nutritious with lots of amino acids and easily digestible protein, researchers at the Food Research Institute (FRI) have said.

Additionally, they are good for the immune system and for growing kids.

Matilda Zomeku, Deborah Narh Mensah and Richard Takli, researchers at the FRI of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said at a workshop in Accra that research showed that peel or waste combined with sawdust when used in mushroom cultivation contains numerous nutrients compared to the use solely of sawdust.

They said it gave better yields in situations where there was a 1:1 ratio of cassava waste and sawdust.

Research has shown that with cassava mushroom, as the mycelium grows, it begins to thicken and so by the time it gets matured, it becomes as thick as expected.

The workshop targeted mushroom farmers, entrepreneurs, agriculture organizations, institutions and housewives drawn from Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern and Greater Accra regions.

It was to transfer technology of experiments carried out with confirmed results to make good use of the waste from cassava to increase revenue and income of farmers

Edible mushrooms can be produced on a wide range of waste materials namely sawdust, cassava peels and yam peels and takes 4 – 6 weeks to mature.

However, a shift from over dependence on wild mushroom to the consumption of cultivated mushroom presents enormous opportunities for mushroom growers and subsequently cassava and yam farmers.

Because there is a growing demand for valued added organic products, especially in food service industry like hotels and restaurants as well as exports, organic cultivation of mushrooms is in the right direction.

These are some of the measures Ghana is instituting to ensure that roots and tuber crops like yam and cassava which suffer between 30-60 per cent post-harvest losses are reversed and sustained and attention turned to making profit from peels and waste.

The losses occur mainly through their processing leading to losses in their economic value, quality and disregard for the bio-waste.

A GRATITUDE project preliminary study has revealed that yam and cassava peels can be used as alternative substrate for cultivating quality mushroom.

The project, dubbed gains from losses of roots and tuber crops, is on the theme ‘Reducing Post – Harvest Losses for Increased productivity and economic gains.

Source: GNA

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