Extraction of bioactive compounds from Organic Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a rich source of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, peptides, proteins, terpenoids and phenolic compounds which offer a multitude of benefits such as restricting bad bacteria and viruses, strengthening immunity, preventing and delaying cell damage and lowering bad cholesterol etc. These bioactive compounds are found in functional mushrooms which are less palatable due to their taste and texture. Different types of extraction methods are used for the extraction of bioactive compounds from Organic Mushrooms’ fruiting bodies and are used to make health supplements that offer direct and specific benefits to the individual.

Through the ages, the extraction process has evolved and we can separate the non-edible and non-functional components from the fruiting body and extract the beneficial bioactive compounds. Look at it as a way more sophisticated mining process to extract valuable minerals from the rock. Extraction is vital in the case of functional mushrooms as not all components of the fruiting body are edible and digestible by the human body.

The body needs bioactive compounds for their variety of health benefits and the same can be extracted by treating the mushrooms through hot water, alcohol or both known commonly as double and triple extraction methods. In the case of hot water extraction, the fruiting bodies of mushrooms are boiled in a pot of water at high and low temperatures for a specific period. A common example can be boiling the fruiting bodies in water at a temperature of 140 degrees for 40 minutes and then letting it rest to collect the bioactive compounds at the bottom of the pot as residue to achieve the best results. Various practices around the world follow different boiling temperatures and times ranging between 30 minutes to 2 days. After the boiling process, the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are discarded and only the mushrooms infused water is kept. Polysaccharides called Beta-glucans are extracted using the hot-water extraction process.

Some of the components of a fruiting body are not soluble in water and require extraction using alcohol. For the alcohol extraction process, the fruiting bodies of mushrooms are soaked in food-grade alcohol for anywhere between one to six weeks. The alcohol extraction method is particularly useful in cases of functional mushrooms such as Chaga and Reishi and helps unlock bioactive compounds such as Terpenoids, Triterpenoids, Ergosterols, Sterols, Phenolics and Inositols. Alcohol extraction may not work well for compounds that are not soluble in alcohol and that is the reason why sometimes both alcohol and hot water together (known as the double extraction method) are used.

A double extraction method involves using both alcohol and water to extract the full spectrum of bioactive compounds, especially from functional mushrooms like Chaga, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail and Reishi. This is however an elaborate and diligent process and differs for different mushroom types. Whether the fruiting bodies will go through water or alcohol first differs for each mushroom type like the duration and temperature range to ensure that the bioactive components are extracted in the best possible manner and have a longer shelf life.

There is also a triple extraction process in which the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are first fermented and then double extracted or first treated through water, then alcohol and lastly heat to further improve bioavailability and potency. Once you get the extracted liquid, it is further treated to take the water solvent out of the extracts leaving behind a potent and fine extract powder that is also used in capsules.

One of the most important bioactive compounds called Beta-glucans helps in lowering bad cholesterol, improving heart health and digestion. A higher concentration of Bet-glucans in the health supplements is beneficial. A lab test of our health supplements by a third party reveals that the quantity of Beta-glucans differs in all mushroom types and varies between 8% to 30% of the mushroom extracts. For Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail and Shiitake, it is always over 30% Beta-glucans. For Cordyceps and Reishi, Beta-glucans composition stands at 25% while it is at least 8% for the revered Chaga mushroom extract. Our flagship Daily VitaMush offers over 20% Beta-glucans in the blended natural mushroom extracts.

Organic Mushrooms offers the goodness of revered mushroom types such as Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Chaga, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shiitake and our flagship VitaMush (a combination of 5 potent medicinal mushrooms) through 100% organic, non-GMO and gluten-free health supplements made in Canada from start to finish. You can order health supplements and wellness bundles in the form of capsules, gummies, tinctures, extract powder or even dried mushrooms.

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