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Ongoing project

Mushroom production waste streams – novel approaches to management and value creation (MU17005)

Key research provider: Xinova

What’s it all about?

This investment is looking at potential value-adding or cost-saving opportunities relating to waste from Australian mushroom businesses – including spent mushroom compost and unused mushroom stems. This involves the project team investigating currently available technologies relating to waste stream management from across the world, and identifying those approaches that are the most promising for application in the Australian mushroom industry.

The researchers began with an investigation of current practices of producers in Australia, followed by a review of global best practice and future trends to find possible opportunities to improve management of mushroom waste.

Six sites were visited in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to observe mushroom operations firsthand and get a deeper understanding of operations, waste management practices, market and supply chain dynamics, as well as previous trials with waste systems.

The team then consulted more than 20 experts in areas related to waste including university academics, biotechnology experts, food service business owners, private companies and entrepreneurs which resulted in over 30 suggested ways to improve upon current practices and systems.

Following consultation and workshopping with industry and Hort Innovation in March 2019, four opportunity areas were identified for further development:

  • Mycelium materials and co-products – such as packaging and construction materials
  • Energy and fertilisers – methane gas and soil fertiliser
  • High-value food products – such as powders, extruded snacks, extracts and jerky
  • Recycling waste for further production – re-use of SMS and capture and transfer of carbon dioxide.

Next steps, including trials, are in planning.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund