The Zero Waste Coffee Project

My name is Carmenza Jaramillo. I am a Chemical Engineer.

Note: in our series “My name is…” we give a place to people who have or can have an impact in the world of coffee by-products, no matter in which specific field or application. Everybody presents him- or herself. If you believe that you are or can be one of those “impact people”, or you know one of those people, please contact us (phone/WhatsApp: +1 613 262 7127, email:, linkedin: Dr. Hans-Jürgen Langenbahn)

My name is Carmenza Jaramillo. I am a Chemical Engineer and a Master in Environmental and Sustainable Development. I live in Manizales, Colombia.  

I am also an entrepreneur and manager in the industrial cultivation of Agaricus spp., specifically Agaricus bisporus, better known as the button or Paris mushroom, which is the most consumed mushroom in the world.

We opened our plant 18 years ago, at a time when Colombians had just started learning how to use mushrooms in their diet. Currently, we produce 40 tons of mushrooms per month.

At Cenicafé, the Research Center of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, I have dedicated myself since 1998 to the investigation of growing edible and medicinal mushrooms on the residues and by-products that result from coffee processing. With an interdisciplinary team we have explored the cultivation of medicinal mushrooms like Pleurotus spp, Lentinula edodes, Ganoderma Lucidum on coffee by-products. Our team has published 25 articles and two bulletins on these methodologies. One of the key papers is the "Mushroom Growing Project in Colombia" (see: "Mushroom Grower´s Handbook 2", ´Shitaake Cultivation´, Part II ´Mushroom for Better Life´, chapter 9). The specific objectives of this paper were:

* Implementation of a commercial cultivation of the edible mushrooms Lentinula edodes and Pleurotus spp. with methods developed by Cenicafé on rural farms and in the urban areas of the city of Manizales

* Training coffee growers so that they can become proficient in the cultivation of the  mushroom Lentinula edodes with coffee residues and communities in the urban area of Manizales in the cultivation of the mushroom Pleurotus spp.

* Finding export markets that could insure a more constant demand for these products.

As a result of our research and implementations, many communities in vulnerable conditions in places such as Choco, Huila, Santander, Cauca and Caldas are nowadays growing mushrooms on residues from coffee processing. Since 2003 I have also worked with mothers of vulnerable communities who are heads of households for mushroom production projects for Food Security in Urban Agriculture in the cities of Manizales, Quibdó and Pitalito.

Since 2009 I am an active member of the International Society of Researchers and growers of edible and medicinal mushrooms IMMS.

Momentarily I am working on multiple utilizations of mycelium and the preparation of patent submissions regarding:

* New materials for construction: panels and parts that replace walls that require impact resistance
* Oil clarification: methodology that allows clarifying dark oils using micromycetes (microfungi)  
* Processing of sludge from the paper industry, fibre cement or asbestos cement shingles
* Bioremediation of all waste or elements manufactured with asbestos obtaining a material without health hazard
* Production of materials for the construction industry from the residual sludge of the paper industry and fibre cement companies
* Conversion of the output substrate from the cultivation of Agaricus spp. into fruit, vegetable and mushroom packaging
* Production of impermeable material from vegetable waste used in a waterless sanitary system
* Automatic sanitary system for the collection of organic wastes
* Functional food from coffee and cocoa residues
* Bioremediation of polystyrene into biodegradable material
* Filtering wastewater from coffee industry residues.

Anyone who is interested in any of the above mentioned subjects, or is also growing mushrooms on coffee residues, please don´t hesitate to contact me! My contact is:

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