Valorisation of by-products from industrial mushroom production

Valorisation of mushroom by-products by means of developing a technological process that allows their use in food products and in sustainable animal feed additives.

European directives consider that, in order to reach a high level of environmental protection, member states must be able to ensure the responsible processing of waste, i.e. elimination and/or valorisation. The production of by-products must be restricted, in particular promoting 'clean' technologies and recycled products. The potential or real chance of trading valorised by-products must also be taken into consideration. In the mushroom manufacturing process, a large amount of by-products are generated, such as solid and liquid wastes with a high environmental impact. In a first step of mushroom processing the stem is cut from the fruiting body. These stems account for 23% of the mushroom total fresh weight. During the year 2002, 3.000 tons of this by-product were generated by the enterprise AYECUE. This by-product, despite having the same organoleptic properties as fresh mushrooms, is allocated to solid waste. In addition, after the washing stage, mushrooms are blanched in order to soften the tissues. The blanching stage produces a flow of 3,4 m3/h of water. This liquid retains a high percentage of organic matter, giving it an intense smell and taste. Therefore, it is an excellent raw material, not only for re-use as a component for canned mushrooms themselves (instead of brine), but also as the basis for "ready to eat" meals (stocks, cream of mushroom soups, etc.) or even to obtain mushroom extracts or aromas. However this by-product is currently considered part of the wastewater due precisely to this nutrient concentration. In both cases, not only are by-products with a high nutritional value being wasted, but the enterprise also has to deal with the environmental impact and the costs of managing these by-products. On the other hand, in the feed industry, antibiotics can be used as a growth promoter for the performance improvement of animals. But in recent years, concerns have been raised because many strains of gastrointestinal bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics traditionally used, in both animals and humans. Since the occurrence of multiple resistance towards several traditional antimicrobials and more particularly since the banishing of most traditional antimicrobials in animal feed formulations, research is being promoted and performed on natural alternatives, such as sustainable therapeutic agents for human and animal health and growth promoting agents in animal production. New research is being focussed on the production and application of new additives, to control animal health and in order to minimise the distribution of microbial resistance in humans and animals. Some plants (e.g. onions, garlic, etc.) and herb or plant extracts (e.g. saponins, phenols, organic sulphur molecules, essential oils, etc.) show antimicrobial activity and can therefore be applied as growth promoting or therapeutic agents. These plants and their extracts have a high potential in animal feeding, since they have multiple effects on animals. These effects can include the following: blocking of adhesion of pathogens to the gastrointestinal wall avoiding inflammation, immuno-modulating effects, etc. In addition, they can improve the physico-chemical conditions in the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. viscosity). All these effects together result in better zoo-technical performances of the animals. In this context, the present project intends to develop a methodology that allows the recycling and valorisation of by-products generated during the industrial processing of mushrooms, and their application and later commercialisation in human food and animal feed. Keywords: mushroom by-products, valorisation, extracts, puree, feed additives, ready to eat meals.
Project ID: 
3 165
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 600 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Crop Production technology
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.