Description of Amycel Spawn Production Process

Picture1Picture4Spawn production is a straight forward but highly detailed process.  Each phase of the production process is performed by highly skilled technicians under tightly controlled environmental conditions.  Each step of the production process follows specific protocols and each is monitored by Quality Assurance.

Mushroom Spawn Production Methods:

Mushroom spawn is made by growing the mushroom mycelium of Agaricus bisporus on sterilized rye or millet grain.  The grain is stored in large silos on the spawn plant property and cleaned prior to use.

Picture2A special piece of equipment is used to clean the grain to remove broken grains, dust, and foreign seeds.  This step provides a uniform batch of grain that will cook evenly.

Picture3The grain is weighed in for each batch to assure that the same amount of grain, water and powders are used in each cook. The grain is boiled in water in a rotating cooking vessel and sterilized with steam at 252 F for the purposes of increasing the moisture content of the grain and to kill all competing fungi and bacteria. At the same time, a mixture of calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate is mixed with the grain followed by cooling to 80F.

Picture5After cooling, the Agaricus mycelium is mixed with the grain. The mycelium at this stage is referred to as inoculum and is added in the form of mycelium grown on a sterilized vermiculite mixture.  The spawn cultures have not been derived through genetic engineering.  The blend of grain and inoculum is filled into plastic bags inside a class 1000 clean room within the spawn plant.

After bagging the bags are sealed and conveyed out of the clean room to the incubation rooms.

Picture6All batches of spawn are tested for fungal or bacterial contaminants by plating the grain or vermiculite on tryptocase soy laboratory agar.  Batches that contain contaminants are not used, and are destroyed.

After inoculation, the spawn is incubated in temperature-controlled rooms at 68F for 2-3 weeks until the mycelium has colonized the grain and the space around the grain.

Picture7The spawn bags then take on a white appearance that indicates they are fully mature.

Upon maturity, the bags are cooled to 34F to prohibit further growth during transit. Cooled bags are packed into cases or bins for delivery.  A label is attached to each case or bin that identifies the strain as well as an alpha numeric the production code that identifies when it was produced and all Quality Assurance data, including the master culture source.

Picture10The packaged spawn is stored in the spawn cooler at 34 F until shipment.

Picture9The pallets are staged on the loading dock and then placed in the truck. Trucks used to transport the spawn are pre-cooled to 34F and are thoroughly cleaned prior to loading.