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Process for multiple operations of sterilization, homogenization, inoculation and packaging, aimed at the production of inoculants for the cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms

Grant number: 03/13014-8
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2004 - September 30, 2007
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal researcher:Augusto Ferreira da Eira
Grantee:Augusto Ferreira da Eira
Company:Fungibrás Indústria e Comércio em Fungicultura Ltda
City: Botucatu

Abstract

The company intends to develop a technological innovation which aims to produce agricultural inoculants and substrates for the axenic cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms at substantially reduced cost and with greater guarantee of microbiological quality. This entails a process of mass dynamic sterilization, with equipment which enables multiple operations: homogenization of raw materials, cooking, sterilization under continuous homogenization (avoiding mass transport problems), cooling, inoculation and homogenization of the inoculant, extrusion and packaging of the inoculated substrate (seed). In the first phase of the project, this process was compared with the conventional method of producing inoculants by static sterilization in autoclaves. The results obtained proved the technical viability of the operation and control of the new equipment in the production of inoculants, reducing the time/sterilization temperature binomial, contaminations from thermo-resistant bacteria and practically eliminating fungal contaminations. This stage also permitted the fast cooling, the inoculation and homogenization of the inoculant and the extrusion of the inoculated substrate (cereal grain). These advantages will permit an initial reduction on costs of the order of 40 per cent compared to the conventional process. However, on this scale (prototype with 850 liter capacity), it was not possible to operate the process for the production of substrates aimed at the axenic cultivation of mushrooms. Thus, in phase 2 it is intended, among other activities, to build full-scale equipment, with around 4,500 liters. (AU)

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