Polina Amaya

Research Project

Utilization of Mushroom By-Products


Polina Amaya is a professional mushroom grower with four years of experience in the industry. She co-founded the mushroom supply company Fungi For You and has helped many other mushroom growers with their facilities and production.

Research Summary

The research explores sustainable opportunities for managing residual waste from the mushroom industry. Focusing on small to medium-sized mushroom farms in Ontario, the study seeks to identify and leverage untapped potential within mushroom by-products, particularly spelt mushroom substrates (SMS). SMSs are organic blocks used to grow mushrooms that consist of dense nutrient materials, including mycelium – mushroom “roots.” However, the effective utilization and recycling of mushroom by-products remains a challenging area, hindered by the lack of regulations and sustainable waste management practices. By employing professional experience and deductive thematic analysis, the study identified that turning SMS into biochar has higher environmental and economic benefits for the mushroom industry.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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