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Case Study: MONAGHAN MUSHROOMS

Innovative Irish company with a strong commitment to Research & Development

Published on 28-03-2017 07:15:11 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP Established in 1981, Monaghan Mushrooms is a completely vertically integrated company and has grown rapidly since then to become the largest producer of mushroom substrate and the second largest producer of fresh mushrooms in the world.

It employs a workforce of 3,500 employees across Irish, UK, Dutch, Belgian and Canadian operations, and sells 1,800 tonnes of mushrooms a week. That’s 75 Lorries a day!

Monaghan Mushrooms has a strong commitment to Research & Development with a staff of ~40 people dedicated to commercially driven R&D activities, housed in world class laboratory facilities. A clear demonstration of this is the development and launch to market of Vitamin D enhanced mushrooms, through a Novel Foods award from the European Commission.

In 2013 Monaghan Mushrooms developed a spin-out company, Monaghan Biosciences Ltd. as an R&D centre of excellence; to develop value added valorisation of the significant volumes of Spent Mushroom Substrate (SMS) and mushroom stalks it generates. The company now employs 20 (mainly PhD level) research scientists housed in a 500m2 state of the art R&D facility. A core strand of the R&D activities is based on the commercialization of enzyme technology and the commercialization and scale-up of enzyme technology for biomass conversion is one of the key focuses of our on-going research and development programme.

In order to further our research into these areas and help to drive the valorisation of the significant volumes of biomass across Europe, Monaghan Mushrooms became a member of the Bio-based Industries Consortium in 2014. “We have found that it has been a great way to access the significant knowledge and infrastructure which already exists in Europe in relation to pilot facilities for biomass processing” explains Darragh Gaffney, R&D Manager at Monaghan Mushrooms. “Since then, we have been awarded two H2020 BBI-JU projects which commenced in late 2016; BIOrescue and FUNGUSCHAIN.”

BIOrescue aims to demonstrate and develop the concept of an integrated bio-production process based on the cascading use of SMS supplemented with wheat straw (WS) and other underutilised lignocellulosic feedstocks. This will turn the economic and logistical problem of waste SMS into biochemical materials that can be used as replacements to those derived from fossil resources. www.biorescue.eu

FUNGUSCHAIN aims to extract value from the agricultural offcuts of commercial mushroom farming. It seeks to process these offcuts into bio-based functional additives and biopolymers using a cascading approach to separate the valuable components into a spectrum of products. It also seeks to prove its industrial viability by building a new bio-refinery and modifying industrial current manufacturing lines. www.funguschain.eu

“As an innovative, indigenous Irish company, we are always assessing new technologies and techniques and operate an open innovation model. So if you have an application or process you think we should hear about, contact us at info@monaghanbio.com” - Darragh Gaffney, R&D Manager

Visit www.monaghanbio.com for more information.