Student project : food packaging in Pleurotus ostreatus mycelium

Hi everyone,

We are a group of 3 students working on a mycelium biomaterial project intended to give an alternative to take-away food packaging made of polystyrene.

We chose to work with the species Pleurotus ostreatus and to experiment the water/grease resistance of our product at the end.

We are beginners in this field, and thus got some questions for anyone who knows about Pleurotus ostreatus and would like to help us :slight_smile:

  1. Firstly, does anyone know how long it takes to entirely grow the mycelium of Pleurotus ostreatus into a beech sawdust or paper waste substrate at the size of a petri box ? Is there a visual cue of the mycelium full maturity to stop the growing process at the right time ?
  2. Did anyone already test some substrates with Pleurotus ostreatus that give a good water/grease resistance to the final product ? We think about using beech sawdust or paper wastes.

Thanks in advance for your advice, don’t hesitate to share your experiences !

Solal, Clémence, Leslie

Mycelium is allready water resistant from the hydrophobins it releases when it breaks the air water interface surface tension as aerial mycelium
Ecovative after fully colonizing their packaging molds raises the CO2 to give them a nice white casing.

It only takes a few days to fully colonize depending on how you mix it. I would just get started on making a nice mold you could use wood and line it with plastic might be the easiest. The hinge and latch would be the most difficult part and you may need to incorporate paper or there is a chemical that makes chitin more flexible that insects use.

on theire website it shows how they boost CO2 to get a nice casing layer
their GIY strain of reishi might be the way to go, oysters is allright but if you want one one that really eats wood, they got it going.