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Mushroom Drying & Packaging

FFPs – Frequently Faced Problems

Extending the shelf life of mushrooms is important for mushroom producers and consumers. Currently mushrooms, regardless of the species, can only be stored for a few weeks before they diminish greatly in quality.

Many mushrooms may mold if they are not dried shortly after harvest. Mushroom also tends to mold if they get damp after they are dried.

Some types of mushrooms do not dry well, with an extreme example being those in the Coprinus genus which tend to turn into a pool of black goop instead of drying.

General Recommendations: RH to be maintained.

For drying, the recommended conditions are 0ºC and a relative humidity below 30% RH. These conditions cannot be met without desiccant dehumidification. Similar conditions are required during packaging.

Solutions:

  • The easiest way to dry the fungi is to place them on a wire screen with air available to all sides. Never dry them in an oven or use hot air dryers. The heat leaches the chemical constituents and reduces their quality.
  • Using a frost free (dehumidifying) refrigerator works but it is time consuming. Freezing the mushrooms after they are dry is another common method for preventing long-term storage problems due to insect damage.
  • Using desiccant to cool dry mushrooms is overall, the best drying technique.

Bry-Air Solutions

Shiitake mushrooms are cultivated on small diameter hardwood logs that have been cut from decay-free live trees. It is necessary to monitor the moisture level of logs during production.

Mushrooms not only have to be stored in cool dry places but also need humidity control during  drying, packaging and storage. Bry-Air's recommendation is to install a Bry-Air desiccant dehumidifier as they are capable of maintaining dew point as low as -60º C regardless of ambient conditions. Bry-Air Dehumidifiers help to maintain optimum required humidity conditions which prevent deterioration due to loss in quality.

Ideally, a dehumidifying system in conjunction with air-conditioning system should be installed to provide optimum condition for safe storage and to avoid spoilage. It has been found that drying has increased the shelf life of the Mushrooms by at least 6 months.

 

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