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ABSTRACT: Substrates from three mushroom compost facilities in Northern Ireland, employing similar production technologies, were examined to assess the quality of the compost produced. Biochemical investigation highlighted changes in substrates through each step of the production cycle. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) provided useful information on fiber fraction content and extent of substrate breakdown. A comparison of productivity, chemical, and thermal data permitted assessment of the degree of bioconversion that had occurred in the decomposition from raw materials to finished substrate for each composter. One of the composters consistently produced substrate of inferior quality compared to the other two, indicating production inefficiencies during composting. Results demonstrated that allied to chemical analyses, TGA is a useful tool, providing valuable information on substrate quality and, in particular, for studying the bioconversion of lignocellulosic materials in mushroom compost.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 07/2006; 54(13):4658-67. DOI:10.1021/jf052934i · 2.91 Impact Factor