Contamination due to Coprinus cinerius has been identified as a major drawback in the use of oil palm bunch (OPB) for mushroom cultivation. OPB is a common agro-waste in the South-eastern part of Nigeria with high alkalinity which does not support the growth of oyster mushrooms. A study on the fructification and some mycochemical contents of Pleurotus ostreatus fruitbodies cultivated on hydrochloric acid (HCl)-induced OPB substrate was conducted. OPB was steeped in solutions (0.1%-0.5%) of HCl for 48 h, to optimize its pH. Experiment was conducted in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for data analysis and means separation by Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at p<0.05. Results showed that increase in the concentration of HCl acid from 0.1 to 0.5% reduced substrate contamination due to Coprinus cinerius and enhanced fruit body number, yield and biological efficiency (BE%) as well as primordial initiation. Vitamins, bioactive compounds, heavy metals and other mycochemicals of nutritional importance were recorded in various fruit body samples at different concentrations. Therefore, commercial mushroom growers should avail themselves of this unique opportunity to ensure effective utilization of OPB incorporated with HCl acid for high fruit- body production as well as profit maximization.
Key words: Hydrochloric acid (HCl), Pleurotus ostreatus, Fruitbodies, oil palm bunch (OPB).
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