Mushroom Grow Bags developed from sugarcane biomass

Thursday, 12 August, 2021

Mushroom Grow Bags developed from sugarcane biomass

Sunshine Sugar has teamed up with biotechnology company Sustinent to develop Mushroom Grow Bags at the Harwood sugar mill using sugarcane biomass.

“With gourmet mushrooms in demand across the world for their flavour, versatility and health benefits, we see this project as a great fit for our diversification program,” said CEO of Sunshine Sugar Chris Connors.

The leafy material that is left after the sugarcane is harvested is rich in carbon and energy, making it a low-cost growth medium for mushrooms.

Much of this residual biomass in NSW is currently used for energy generation but it is also a rich source of material used to produce fuels, chemicals and other value-added products, including animal feed and bio-degradable packaging.

This is the first phase of a project aimed at utilising the cane waste in producing a diversified product range including nutritionally enhanced feedstock and packaging.

The Mushroom Grow Bag

“Our team of scientific, industry and manufacturing experts have successfully cultivated edible gourmet mushrooms such as Oyster and Shiitake already, as well as medicinal mushrooms like Resihi and Turkey Tail,” said Sustinent Founder and CEO Peter Tomich.

The richness of the sugarcane biomass allows for multiple flushes of mushrooms to be harvested before the substrate is then recycled as livestock feed or a rich compost, thus creating a sustainable, circular economy.

Ready-to-fruit gourmet Oyster Mushroom Grow Bags are expected to go on sale towards the end of 2021.

Image credits: Sunshine Sugar.

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