Edible mushrooms: scientists manage to produce record volume of microorganisms for production

CONICET scientists obtained two tons of inoculum, which will allow producers to grow 12 thousand kilos of this high nutritional value mushroom

Photos: Courtesy researchers.

At the Laboratorio de Micología y Cultivo de Hongos Comestibles y Medicinales (UBFungi) of the Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús (INTECH, CONICET-UNSAM-linked to CICPBA), the scientists are glad for the results they’ve obtained. One of their diverse daily activities has led to a great achievement: to double the production of inoculum compared to 2018. This product is obtained from cereal grains and it constitutes the primary input to plant different species of edible mushrooms. “We delivered two tons of inoculum to private producers of different provinces. This means the possibility to produce 12 tons of edible mushrooms,” explains Edgardo Albertó. He is a researcher of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and director of the team. Besides, he highlights the economic relevance for the sector.

The production of inoculum is one of the several lines in which the laboratory has worked with the productive sector by means of ‘High level Technological Services’ (STAN), initiatives from CONICET to contribute to the community from knowledge transfer generated by its researchers. Furthermore, the expert at the UBFungi analyze the identification of different species of mushrooms, the study of those that are wild can be domesticated to boost mass production and train producers with workshops on current cultivation techniques.

“Edible mushroom production is an emerging activity that will allow people to obtain nutritional value food from agriculture waste as well as an extra income for those ones that produce them. These mushrooms have high-quality proteins, most of them have all essential amino acids, what can make them potential meat substitutes, ideal for vegetarians or vegans,” the researcher comments.

The inoculum produced at the INTECH aims at providing the sustained demand of the provinces of Buenos Aires, Chaco, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, La Pampa, Mendoza, Misiones, Río Negro, Salta, San Luis, Tierra del Fuego and Tucumán. Although the consumption of mushrooms is not well incorporated to the diet of Argentines, some species have gained importance. The most well known is the champignon, but the oyster mushroom and shiitake have become part of gourmet dishes and also have some medicinal properties.

By Marcelo Gisande- CCT La Plata
English version: Cintia González