The Feasibility of Bagasse and Filter-Press Mud as a Substrate for Mushroom Cultivation


Bagasse and filter-press mud (FPM) are the primary by products from processed sugarcane.  This research uses these two by products to create a substrate suitable for mushroom cultivation.  The mushroom spores were initially introduced into test tubes which contained Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA).  After two weeks of incubation, the mycelia were then transferred into bottles containing sorghum seeds.  The mycelia were allowed to develop into grain spawn for two week, after which the spawn were transferred into prepared substrate bags of 1:1, 2:1, 3:1 and 4:1 of bagasse FPM ratios.  A second batch of substrates was made without the 1:1 ratio and with a pure bagasse substrate.  Mushroom growth was recorded after 60 days.  In the first initial trial, the highest growth rate was observed in the 2:1 proportion.  In the second trial, all replicates exhibited positive mushroom growth.  The bagasse and substrates are therefore suitable for mushroom cultivation.


Mushrooms, which are in demand in the domestic and world markets, are found everywhere.  They live on dead or decaying organisms such as beneath decaying tree trunks.  They are easy to produce, but growing them in large numbers is a difficult task.

Bagasse and FPM are the principal by products obtained from processing sugarcane.  Bagasse is used primarily as fuel in factories while FPM has no apparent use.  Since they are by products from sugarcane, they could contain nutrients essential for mushroom growth  They could be used as substrates for mushroom culture, specifically oyster mushrooms.

Review of Related Literature

Mushrooms.  Mushrooms are the fruiting structures, or spore-bearing organs, of higher fungi.  They are produced by the fungi’s vegetative bodies (mycelia) growing in the soil, on wood, or in or on other substrates.  Some are very common, but many are found only rarely in special habitats (Lexicon Encyclopedia, Vol. XIII, 1986).

Bagasse.  Bagasse, aside from molasses, are the principal by products from processed sugarcane.  Bagasse is used primarily as fuel for factories and for the manufacture of building boards and paper products (Jain,, 1988).

A study of the ability of P.ostreatus to degrade bagasse was conducted by Poonam Nigam of India.  A significant decrease in crude fibre was found in autoclaved pretreated bagasse samples.  The results indicated a stronger ability of P.ostreatus to degrade bagasse (Nigam, 1988).  This means that oyster mushrooms grow well on bagasse.

Filter Press Mud.  Filter Press Mud (FPM) is the residue that collects in the sedimentation tank during clarification of the sugarcane extract.  It has been used in the production of organic compost.  Otherwise, it is usually discarded.

Materials and Methods

I. Preparation of the Culture Medium (Potato Dextrose Agar or PDA)

Potatoes were first washed and weighed before they were cut into cubes.  They were boiled in a 1/4 liter of water for at least fifteen minutes until they become soft.  The potato extract was strained through an unsoiled cloth.  The volume of the extract was restored to 1/4 liter and the broth was then returned to the casserole.  Powdered dextrose and the agar bar were added and the mixture stirred constantly until they were melted.  The hot solution was poured into clean, flat bottles, filling around a height of 1 inch from the bottom.  For stock cultures, test tubes were filled with at least 10 mL of the liquid agar medium.  Care was taken so that the solution would not touch the mouth of the test tube and the plug will not get stuck.  The mouth was then plugged with a cotton wad.  It was then sterilized in an autoclave for 15 minutes at 120 degree celcius and 15 psi.  (The bottled media can also be steamed in a casserole of water for 1-2 hours.)  After sterilization, the bottles/test tube were cooled to about 45 degree celcius.  The bottles/test tubes were placed in a reclined position in order to increase the surface of the solution in it.  Again, care was taken so that the agar does not touch the plug.  The slanted bottles/test tubes were then stored in a cool place for future use.

This is an excerpt from Bato Balani Magazine.