Sawdust from four types of woods (Milicia excelsa, Gmelina arborea, Afzelia africana and Khaya senegalensis) was used for cultivation of Pleurotus pulmonarius. Growth and yield of fruiting bodies were monitored and biological efficiency (BE) determined. Proximate composition of fruiting bodies was determined; total phenol content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) of the extract from the mushrooms were investigated. Results obtained show significant yield (P<0.05) of 361.30±4.55 g/kg substrate (BE = 36.13%) on G. arborea followed by K. senegalensis. The highest crude protein content (19.69±0.09%) was observed in mushrooms harvested on A. africana. Crude fibre was significantly (P<0.05) higher in mushrooms harvested from A. africana. Magnessium, sodium, potassium and calcium content of all the mushrooms were significantly different but all had significantly (P<0.05) higher potassium content (3.52±0.11 to 7.09±0.004 mg/kg). The highest TPC and TFC were recorded in mushrooms harvested from M. excelsa and the least TPC was observed for mushrooms harvested from K. senegalensis while the least TFC was recorded in G. arborea and A. africana. These findings indicate effective economic bioconversion of sawdust with varying effects on yield, nutritional composition, TPC and TFC of P. pulmonarius. G. arborea gave a better yield and can be further exploited in various capacities.
Key words: Sawdust, biological efficiency, Pleurotus pulmonarius, proximate composition.
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