Oil palm fruit fibre promotes the yield and quality of Lentinus squarrosulus (Mont.) Singer, an edible Nigerian mushroom
Agricultural production and the agro-food industry furnish large volumes of solid wastes, which when unutilized could lead to environmental pollution. An attempt was made to utilize wastes from the oil palm and timber industries for the cultivation of Lentinus squarrosulus, a Nigerian edible mushroom. Mahogany sawdust (MSD), Gmelina sawdust (GSD), oil palm fruit fibre (OPFF) and oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) significantly influenced crop cycle time, yield, nutritional properties and market quality of the mushroom. The shortest crop cycle time achieved (47 days) was with Gmelina sawdust. Oil palm fruit fibre proved a better substrate for the production of mushrooms with higher yields and protein content (30.10 g/kg substrate and 27.42%). Yield and protein content of harvested mushrooms were strongly correlated with the nitrogen content of the substrates. Fruit bodies with the lowest fat content were harvested from Gmelina sawdust. Fat contents of the mushrooms showed a positive and significant correlation with the cellulose content of the waste. Oil palm fruit fibre yielded the highest quality mushrooms, with 26% in the >7 cm group while GSD and OPEFB had 0% in the same quality group. Considering the desirable characteristics of yield, protein content and market quality, OPFF
proved to be a good substrate which could be exploited for large scale production of L. squarrosulus.
Key words: Lentinus squarrosulus, yield, market quality, crop cycle time.