Towards a sustainable production of Shiitake mushroom

Summary by: Luminita Ciolacu and Sofia Reis (alphabetically)

From: ISEKI-Food Association

The global mushroom market is expected to reach 21 million tons in 2026, leading to an estimated 105 million tons of the agricultural waste: the spent mushroom substrate (SMS). To foster the sustainable progress of the mushroom industry, it’s imperative to attenuate this environmental impact by finding suitable disposable strategies.

Researchers proposed as a new disposable strategy to exploit Shiitake SMS as a potential source of nutraceutical and/or pharmaceutical natural compounds. Shiitake mushrooms represent 26% of the world’s mushroom supply and are included in the 2000 edible and therapeutic mushroom species due to their several benefits attributed to antimicrobial, antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

This initial investigation demonstrates that Shiitake SMS is a rich source of compounds related to the beneficial properties of Shiitake mushrooms, presenting robust antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The degradation of organic matter during mushroom growth leads to the accumulation of these beneficial compounds in the SMS. Researchers suggest that the Shiitake SMS extracts obtained may address pivotal challenges in healthcare and sustainability.

These findings represent the initial steps towards a sustainable production of Shiitake mushrooms, however further multidisciplinary studies, including economic viability, are needed. The study did not assess the energy and solvent requirements, while the yields recovered from the initial SMS were not clear. Therefore, commercial feasibility studies and a life cycle assessment should be included to clearly proof if this strategy is effective in attenuating the environmental impact of the mushroom waste.

Based on: Batista, F.; Campos, J.; Costa-Silva V.; Pinto, A.R.; Saavedra, M.J., Ferreira, L.M.; Rodrigues, M.; Novo Barros, A. Nutraceutical Potential of Lentinula edodes’ Spent Mushroom Substrate: A Comprehensive Study on Phenolic Composition, Antioxidant Activity, and Antibacterial Effects. J. Fungi 2023, 9, 1200.

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