King oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) belongs to the family of oyster mushrooms, which is edible, basidiomycetic and saprophytic . It is considered as the best one of all Pleurotus species due to its excellent consistency of cap and stem, culinary qualities and longest shelf life than any other oyster mushroom . In the recent year, P. eryngii has been commercially cultivated in China, Japan and Taiwan because its excellent texture and flavor attract consumers.
Oyster mushrooms are one kind of edible fungi belonging to the genus Pleurotus under the class Basidiomycetes. The oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.) are in the third place after the white button and shiitake among the world mushroom production .
However, let me count the reasons why you should cultivate oyster mushrooms with sawdust.
- Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus ) is an edible mushroom having excellent flavor and taste. Pleurotus species are popular and widely cultivated throughout the world mostly in Asia and Europe owing to their simple and low cost production technology and higher biological efficiency
- Cultivation of oyster mushroom has increased tremendously throughout the world because of their abilities to grow at a wide range of temperature and harvested all over the year.
- Pleurotus have the ability to excrete hydrolyzing and oxidizing enzymes which are capable of utilizing complex organic compounds that occurred with agricultural wastes and industrial by-products with broad adaptability to varied agro-climatic conditions.505-2038-1-PB
- It is considered as the best one of all Pleurotus species due to its excellent consistency of cap and stem, culinary qualities and longest shelf life than any other oyster mushroom . In the recent year, P. eryngii has been commercially cultivated in China, Japan and Taiwan because its excellent texture and flavor attract consumers.
- Pleurotus ostreatus demands few environmental controls, and their fruiting bodies are not often attacked by diseases and pests, and they can be cultivated in a simple and economic way.
- It requires a short growth time in comparison to other edible mushrooms. Mushrooms require carbon, nitrogen and inorganic compounds as their nutritional sources, the main nutrients are less nitrogen and more carbon congaing substrate such as most organic matters containing cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin can be used as mushroom substrate (i. e. rice and wheat straw, cottonseed hulls, corncob, sugarcane baggase, sawdust, waste paper, leaves, and so on) which supports the growth, development and fruiting of mushroom.
- The growths of diverse type of mushrooms require different type of substrates and availability of varied type of materials may dictate which type is used. Large quantity of freely available sawdust of different trees offers a potential substrate source for mushroom cultivation in the tropics.
- Mushroom cultivation has a special relevance to Africa, because sawdust and other materials are available to the farmers. In India, sawdust is the most popular basal ingredient used in substrates to grow shiitake mushroom compare to the wheat straw and rice or wheat bran.
- In general edible mushrooms are low in fat and calories, rich in vitamins B, D, K and sometimes vitamins A and C , contain more protein than any other food of plant origin and are also a good source of mineral nutrients.
- Malnutrition is a problem in developing third world countries. Mushrooms with their flavor, texture, nutritional value and high productivity per unit area have been identified as an excellent food source to alleviate malnutrition in developing countries .
Currently, high biofuel prices have caused an increase in food prices and food scarcity in many countries (World Bank, 2008). To alleviate hunger and malnutrition in a world of rising food prices, cultivation of mushrooms is a very reliable and profitable option.
- Oyster mushroom cultivation can play an important role in managing organic wastes whose disposal has become a problem . These wastes can be recycled into food and environment may be less endangered by pollution.
- Strengthening mushroom production sector could be essential in order to enable the rural economy to keep its vibrancy and development, increasing and diversifying business and employment opportunities in the rural areas, and providing income opportunities of small family farms. Furthermore, the use of these residues in bioprocesses may be one of the solutions to bioconversion of inedible biomass residues into nutritious protein rich food in the form of edible mushrooms
- Apart from food value, its medicinal value for diabetics and in cancer therapy has been emphasized. Many of mushrooms pose a range of metabolites of intense interest to pharmaceutical e.g. antitumour, antigenotoxic, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antihypertensive, antiplatelet aggregating, antihyperglycaemic, antimicrobial, antiviral activities and food industries.