Whole red reishi mushrooms next to capsules filled with brownish powder.

Harnessing the Potential of Medicinal Mushrooms in Bulk Supplement Manufacturing

A powerful source of numerous nutritional and health benefits, mushrooms have been used as a supplement for people for thousands of years, and the health advantages of mushrooms were highly valued in many ancient civilizations. Certain kinds of mushrooms were considered to be a source of immortality in ancient Egypt and were only consumed by royalty. The nutritious significance of mushrooms was recognized by the Egyptians, along with other ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans, who also adopted them into their diets. They have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years, during which time they were thought to strengthen the immune system, increase stamina, and even heal specific disorders. 

Since mushrooms are a substantial source of important elements such as dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, it’s no surprise that they are still today frequently used in nutritional supplements. In this piece, we will explore the use cases of these long-valued fungi and its recent market trend in the nutrition space.

Nutritional and Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms make great candidates for dietary supplements due to their rich nutritional profile, which includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The appeal of using some species as supplements is also increased by the presence of distinctive chemicals in a number of them that may have medicinal effects. To demonstrate this, here are a few ways mushrooms are used in modern nutritional supplements:

  • Vitamin D Supplements: In the presence of UV radiation, some mushrooms, such as Shiitake and Oyster, can synthesize and store Vitamin D, particularly the D2 type.
  • Immune Support: Some mushrooms, including Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, are thought to have immune-supporting characteristics because of their beta-glucan content, a type of polysaccharide. A form of soluble dietary fiber called beta-glucans is well-known for its capacity to influence the immune system.
  • Antioxidant Supplements: Mushrooms like Cordyceps and Chaga are rich in antioxidants, which are chemicals that can stop or delay the harm that free radicals do to cells. These mushrooms are frequently extracted to create tinctures or teas, or pulverized into a powder for encapsulation.
  • Energy and Performance Supplements: Cordyceps is also widely used in products for athletes and those looking to increase their physical stamina or energy. By increasing the body’s production of the chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is crucial for supplying energy to the muscles, some studies claim that it may improve measures of exercise performance.
  • Nootropics for Brain Health: Lion’s Mane mushrooms may have neuroprotective and cognitive-improving properties. It is thought to boost the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which can encourage nerve cell growth and normal function. As a result, Lion’s Mane is frequently incorporated in dietary supplements intended to promote brain health.
  • Digestive Health: Mushrooms such as Turkey Tail are suitable for supplements for digestive health because of their high prebiotic polysaccharide content, which can encourage the growth of good bacteria in the stomach.

In regards to overall health, mushrooms have a good amount of protein which is needed for body tissue building and repair. Mushrooms also possess dietary fiber that can help regulate bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and more.

Although it has been widely researched, the health benefits of mushrooms are still being studied and new beneficial impacts are still being discovered today.

Mushrooms in Bulk Supplement Manufacturing

Now that we’ve reviewed the nutritional and health benefits of mushrooms as a supplement, let’s look over the process of how mushroom powder extracts are produced and why they are an ideal choice for manufacturers to include in their product line.

Making mushroom powders for supplements is more than just drying the mushrooms and grinding them. It is a multi-step process to ensure that the full potential of the beneficial compounds in the mushrooms is realized. Although the process is dependent on specific types of mushrooms, the general method could include these steps:

  1. Harvest: Some mushrooms grow on logs or in soil, while others need a substrate in a farm laboratory like grain or sawdust for high production rates. They can be gently removed by hand or cut at the base of the stem with a small knife.
  2. Drying: After their harvest, the mushrooms are then dried at low heat to remove any moisture without compromising the nutritional content. This aids in grinding them into powder and also lengthens their shelf life. After they are fully dried, they are then ground into a fine powder.
  3. Extraction and Powder Formation: In order to enhance the beneficial effects of the mushrooms, they have to go through extraction. Water extraction involves extracting the water-soluble compounds like beta-glucans. Alcohol extraction is a similar method, except alcohol-soluble compounds, such as triterpenes, are extracted with alcohol. The mushroom extract is then spray dried into the supplemental powder.

You might be wondering why the mushrooms aren’t simply turned into powder after they’ve been dried. The stiff cell wall of mushrooms is primarily formed of chitin, which the human body has trouble digesting. This means that if you consumed mushroom powder without extraction, your body might not be able to access and absorb the mushrooms’ nutritious components completely. The tough cell walls are destroyed during the extraction process, releasing the beneficial chemicals and increasing their bioavailability, enabling more of the substances to enter your bloodstream and be utilized by your body.

Potential of Mushrooms in the Bulk Supplement MarketFilled bulk capsules in hand

Like with many other supplements, such as Vitamin C, mushrooms have risen in popularity in the health and wellness market over the past few years. It’s due in part to several trends that are influencing the mushroom supplement industry:

  • Growing Awareness and Demand: People are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages that different kinds of mushrooms provide for their health and wellbeing. This has raised consumer demand for supplements made from mushrooms, and this pattern is predicted to continue.
  • Functional Foods and Beverages: In addition to more conventional supplement forms like tablets and capsules, mushrooms are now more frequently being used in functional meals and beverages.
  • Sports Nutrition: Some mushroom species, such as Cordyceps, are gaining a foothold in the sports nutrition market, primarily due to their reputed effects on energy, endurance, and recovery.
  • Growing Usage of Mushrooms for Health: Due to the possible immune-stimulating and brain-improving properties of some medicinal mushroom species, such as Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail, their use is on the rise.
  • Sustainability and Organic Products: As in many sectors of the health and wellness industry, mushroom supplements that are sustainably produced and organic are gaining popularity. Increasing consumer awareness of environmental issues and a desire for natural products are driving this development.
  • Innovations in Cultivation and Extraction: Technological advancements are resulting in innovations in mushroom cultivation and bioactive chemical extraction. This covers techniques to boost the concentration of particular compounds or enhance the bioavailability of the nutrients included in mushroom supplements.

In a recent 2023 study by Technavio, the mushroom market CAGR is projected to grow by 6.62% from 2022-2027, providing supplement manufacturers with numerous business expansion opportunities along the next few years.

A powerful source of nutrients and potential health benefits, mushroom powder extracts capture the power of fungi in a form that is simple to eat and accessible. Mushrooms offer a variety of wellness-promoting traits that appeal to a wide spectrum of consumers, from their immune-supportive properties to their capacity to enhance cognitive function. By dissolving the tough cell walls of mushrooms, the extraction procedure maximizes these advantages by making the beneficial substances more readily available and better absorbed by the body.

The mushroom supplement market is experiencing exciting times, with the potential for continued expansion and the chance to offer goods that can actually improve consumers’ health and wellbeing. Manufacturers are given opportunities for increasing sales, brand building, and product innovation as this industry keeps expanding.

Are you a producer of dietary supplements hoping to profit from the expanding market for mushroom powder extracts? At Vivion, our team is knowledgeable and can answer any of your questions about our high-quality, bioavailable mushroom extracts. Don’t miss out on this growing market opportunity. Contact our sales team today to learn more about how our mushroom powder extract product line can elevate your supplement offerings and meet the demand of health-conscious consumers.

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