Fermented mushrooms: What is unique about this concept?
Medical mushrooms have been used for some time in the world of dietary supplements. Different mushrooms therefore have different properties.
The role of beta glucans:
Many of these mushrooms grow on substrates of various kinds. Straw, wood, rice manure, etc. Organic substrates that, moreover, must usually be in a moist environment to allow growth.
The mushrooms therefore grow on substrates that are themselves capable of decomposition. That is why they have developed a powerful defense system themselves so as not to perish from micro-organisms. These are the beta glucans. Beta glucans are polysaccharides that prevent bacteria from growing.
The most powerful beta glucans are naturally in the mycelium, because in the substrate the defense of the mushroom is most needed. They are the so-called branched beta glucans. There are also beta glucans in the fruit body. Often these fruit bodies are dried and beta glucans are extracted from them. However, the most active beta glucans of the fruit body will largely have a damaged triple helix structure by heating and extraction by means of solvents.
The disadvantages of growing mushrooms on a solid substrate are possible bacterial contamination, the difficulty of separating the mycelium from the substrate, and the extraction of the beta glucans that damage them chemically.
Fermentation technology for obtaining beta glucans:
As shown, the immune system of the mushrooms is mainly active in the mycelium. The fine mycelium threads also transfer beta glucans to their environment. This way the environment remains under bacterial control.
After long and complex research, this fermentation process has succeeded in making liquid substrates for the various mushrooms where the mycelium can develop under ideal conditions. The start is a sterile and liquid substrate. Then mycelium is introduced, where it develops for several weeks. Once the mycelium has developed to the maximum, everything is filtered. The filtration removes the unreacted liquid substrate, but also the less active beta glucans, which in other words have a too small molecular mass (<5000 daltons). The filtrate containing the secreted beta glucans, but also the mycelium, is then lyophilized. This (expensive) technique guarantees optimal protection of the triple helix structure of the beta glucans. So a biological activity that is unaffected.
The sterile substrate allows to develop mycelium in a sterile environment, the end product can therefore not be bacterially contaminated. Therefore extremely safe.