Spawn Production Technology – Mushroom Farming
Mushroom is very popular in today’s food culture mostly in Europe and now it is also a part of Asia’s Food items. As mushrooms are rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins but 0% fat and this percentage of fat make it attractive to food lovers. Mushrooms has a great variety and delicious flavour. When we talk about the mushroom farming, spawning is an important tool. It has its own separate production technology. Production technology includes the methodology, steps, material, technology all that use in production of a thing.
Commonly, spawn is ‘a propagating material’ as we use seed for the reproduction of our crops. It may be defined as secondary mycelium which is responsible for the whole structure of fungi. While Spawning is ‘a process of addition of spawn in ploythene bags of substrate’.
Without a spawn, we can’t grow a single mushroom. If we want to grow mushroom we need a spawn and we can prepare our own spawn in lab. Secondary mycelium always grow on a substrate as we grow our mushroom on a substrate. Cereal grains are used in spawn formation. The most useful substrate for spawn growing is sorghum grain which has the maximum amount of cellulose (carbohydrate) as fungi is cellulose and lignin loving, they consume it as their food. Spawn formation in itself a whole technique other than mushroom farming which is develop by the reseacher. A technique is come to existance when it pass from many experiments and trials and win the title of authentication.
Production technology of spawn formation has the following steps (methodology). First of all, clean the grains and chose them carefully. Then boil the grains. For boiling, use the stainless steel bowl. Boil them to a specific temperature. After boiling, spread the grains on a blotting paper for overnight so that paper soak all the moisture of grains. (Need less amount of moisture to avoid growth of algae).
Take the flask and make them sterilize in an auto-clave. Fill the sterilize flasks with the grains upto the neck. Then close the flask mouth / plug flask’s mouth with the cotton bud. (sterilization is important to avoid the growth of any bacteria so that it may not harm our material and hence we get good quality spawn). Now autoclave the flask fill with grains. Autoclave is specifically used for sterilization / moist sterilization because steam is used in this instrument. It works on 121°C at 15psi for 15-20 minutes depending upon the load and content of the material.
After autoclaving, inoculate the grains with the already prepared culture (food of fungi that contains all required nutrients for their growth). Culture can be prepared in lab by using tissue culture tech or you can purchase it from any company who sale mushroom culture. Spore of mushroom which are collected from gills (mushroom cap part) can be directly used for culture. Mushrooms has many varieties or species and every specie need a different culture for their growth for example Agaricus augustus Culture, Agaricus bitorquis Culture, Hypholoma sublatertium Culture etc.
For inoculation, first dip the inoculation needle in the spirit from germ killing, red hot flame on the fire after this slightly touch the culture with needle and then inoculate the grains
After inoculation, put the flasks in the incubator for 15-20 days at 25°C (room temperature).
When grains complete the incubation period, they will convert into spawn as there will be coating of fungal hypae over the whole grain and make it a propagating material (for next farming).
Quality of spawn
If we want to generate a good income from the mushroom farming, our spawn quality should be best otherwise it will be lose to us and we will not gain profit. Here, I will discuss some major qualities of spawn.
- Grains should be chosen carefully. Don’t take the damage grains. Good grains lead to the maximum yield and more profit.
- Loose grains have no tendency to have coating of mycelium hence no potential to grow / multiply.
- Color of the spawn should be whitish creamy, no yellowness.
- Fresh spawn good for propagation, they have a very small shelf life i.e., 1 month. So, try to produce and market fresh spawn. It will enhance the production.
- Spawn should be smell less. If smell comes from spawn, it will show the low and old spawn.
So, these qualities of your spawn make well repute in the market. By making your own spawn, you can also use them as your business as well as use them for your production house. Mushroom is the need if today’s diet, make them part of your food and develop taste for it and motivate people to grow mushroom in their areas.
Advice from a mushroom:
Be down to earth, sprout new ideas, keep a low profile, know when to show up, stay well rounded, start from the ground up, be a fun- guy J ( Ilen Shamir
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