With an abundance of functional mushroom extracts, tinctures, capsules, and powders on the market these days, it can be difficult to identify which ones are the highest quality and most bio-available.
To make the selection process a little easier, we wanted to share the 6 key points to look out for when identifying quality functional mushroom products. Read on and find to learn more and find the best functional mushroom extract to help you achieve your health goals!
Identifying Quality Functional Mushrooms - Quick Guide
If you’re looking to use mushroom extracts, it’s important to know that the quality and potency can differ based on a few factors including the type of mushroom, how it was grown, and the extraction process used. To make sure you’re getting the most effective extract possible, it’s a good idea to keep the following factors in mind when choosing ANY type of functional mushroom product.
– Look for a reputable brand who provides ample information on their products.
– Check the label to see if the included mushrooms are certified organic. This means they’ve been grown without the use of harmful pesticides or fertilisers.
– Make sure the product is free of fillers and other unwanted ingredients. You should only see functional mushrooms listed on the label.
– Look for a product that’s been third-party tested for potency and purity. This ensures that you are consuming a safe product that contains what it says it does.
We test all of our products right here in Australia for this exact reason!
By following these guidelines, you can be confident that you’re choosing a functional mushroom product that is safe to consume and contains the listed ingredients.
6 Ways to Identify Quality Functional Mushroom Products
1. Beta-D-Glucans: Capacity Matters!
Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide found in functional mushrooms that have been shown to have various health benefits, including immune system support and anti- inflammatory properties. Research suggests that the higher the beta-glucan content in the mushroom extract, the more potent its health benefits are likely to be.
A beta-glucan content of 30% or higher is a good benchmark for functional mushroom extracts because it indicates that the extract has been carefully processed to preserve the important beta-glucan compounds.
Beta-glucans  are one of the main components responsible for making a medicinal mushroom functional and beneficial. Beta-glucans are known biological response modifiers, giving them the ability to up-regulate and down-regulate our biological systems responses to pollutants and illness.
Humans do not have the ability to produce Beta-glucans, thus functional mushrooms play an important role in supporting daily health and wellness that would be otherwise inaccessible. Known for their ability to activate the immune system, Beta-glucans act as “immunomodulators”  enabling a balance in a fragile immune system or calming an overactive immune system.
All our Mush Mush powder extracts are guaranteed greater than 30% Beta-glucan content, making them one of the most potent blends on the market.
We routinely lab test for quality to ensure that our products are consistently superior.
2. Wood Grown Functional Mushrooms for Top Quality
Always check to see that your extracts use ‘Di Dao’ ‘Di Tao’ or wood-grown mushies. Mushrooms are saprophytes, which means they obtain their nutrients by breaking down dead plant material. Wood provides an ideal substrate for functional mushrooms because it is rich in the nutrients and compounds that mushrooms need to thrive.
Functional mushrooms grown on wood in their natural environment have been shown to contain higher levels of beneficial compounds, such as beta-glucans and triterpenoids, than mushrooms grown on other types of substrates. This is likely due to the complex interactions between the mushroom and the surrounding environment, including the microorganisms and other plants in the ecosystem.
Wood grown mushrooms that live in their symbiotic environment are also generally more sustainable and environmentally friendly than mushrooms grown on synthetic substrates. By utilising natural materials and ecosystems, the production of functional mushrooms can be a regenerative process that supports both the health of the mushrooms and the health of the environment.
Wood-grown functional mushrooms are exposed to the elements and contain higher levels of nutrients than those grown on grains, oats, or rice. At Mush Mush, we use only wood- grown mushrooms, so you can be sure you’re re getting the most potent, nutritious mushrooms possible.
3. 100% Fruiting Body for Quality Functional Mushrooms
Functional mushroom extracts can be made using either the whole mushroom or just specific parts of the mushroom, such as the mycelium or the fruiting body. However, It is essential to look for mushroom extracts that contain 100% mushroom fruiting body only for a few reasons.
Firstly, the fruiting body is the part of the mushroom that contains the highest concentration of beneficial compounds, such as beta-glucans and triterpenoids. By using only the fruiting body in the extraction process, the resulting extract is far more potent and effective.
Secondly, some studies suggest that mycelium-based extracts may contain fewer beneficial compounds than fruiting body-based extracts. This is likely due to differences in the nutrient composition and growth patterns of the mycelium versus the fruiting body.
Lastly, using only the fruiting body in the extraction process ensures that the final product is free from potentially harmful contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides, which may accumulate in the mycelium.
4. Wild and Sustainably Harvested Functional Mushrooms
Sustainably harvested mushrooms are typically collected in a way that preserves the natural ecosystem and ensures that the mushrooms can continue to grow and thrive in the future. Using sustainably harvested mushrooms helps to support local communities and economies that rely on the sustainable harvest and sale of wild mushrooms. By using these mushrooms in our superblends we proudly promote sustainable practices and ensure that wild mushroom populations are preserved for future generations.
Additionally, sustainably harvested mushrooms are typically harvested at the optimal time and processed using methods that preserve the beneficial compounds and minimise the risk of contamination.
We recommend buying mushroom products which only contain mushrooms that are wild/semi-wild and sustainably harvested.
This means they are exposed to the rain, sun, and wind, allowing them to produce all the beneficial compounds you would find in wild-growing mushrooms.
All our medicinal mushrooms are wild or semi-wild harvested (except for Cordyceps which
is grown indoors). Our Chaga is wild harvested from birch trees in Siberia.
5. 100% Organic Functional Mushrooms
We strongly recommend choosing 100% organic medicinal mushroom products. These mushrooms are grown in organic conditions, free from exposure to pollutants or toxins. As a result, they are much higher in nutrients and minerals than non-organic mushrooms.
In addition, organic mushrooms are also subject to regular testing to ensure that they are of the highest quality.
6. Dual Extraction for Functional Mushroom Quality
Dual extraction is a process that involves separating compounds from mushrooms using both water and organic alcohol. This method is used to draw out the fat-soluble adaptogenic terpenoids, as well as the water-soluble compounds, essential polysaccharides, and beta-D- glucans.
Dual extraction is important because it ensures that you get a full spectrum of compounds and benefits from your mushrooms.
Now that you are in the know when it comes to functional mushrooms and what to look for in your products, you can feel confident in your choice of mushroom blends and can ensure top quality and superior level potency. If you are ever in need of a quick reference, simply refer to the checklist above to make sure your products are optimal for your health, and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We love nothing more than talking mushies!