In search of a healthier diet, the consumption of edible mushrooms has been expanding, as well as the use of agro-industrial residues for cultivation and the use of less costly techniques. In this work, residues of pupunha palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth.) and cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) were tested as a substrate to produce Pleurotus pulmonarius CCB19, as well as two forms of disinfection: Moist heat (autoclaving) and alkalinization with calcium hydroxide solution. Substrate compositions based on the pupunha palm residue (P) mixed with the cocoa testa (T) were tested in three different proportions (100% P; 90% P + 10% T; and 80% P + 20%T). The production time, biological efficiency (BE), production rate (PR), and diameter of the mushroom caps were analyzed. These parameters did differ neither with substrates formulations, nor with disinfection methods. The results showed the potential of P and T to be used as substrate in mushroom cultivation and alkalinization technique is as effective as autoclaving for substrate disinfection. From the study, it is concluded that alkalinization technique is a good alternative for the production of edible mushrooms by the small rural producer, since it is less expensive and easier to handle.
Key words: Bactris gasipaes Kunth, Theobroma cacao, Pleurotus pulmonarius, biological efficiency, agro-industrial residues.
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