MUSHROOM EXTRACTION & Processing
Mycology and Mushrooms
Mushrooms. Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, Shiitakes, Golden Teachers, the list goes on. In the last 5 years mushrooms have gained a lot of popularity- if you have ever been around a farmers’ market, green house, or just recall biology 101, you may have heard the term Mycology. But what exactly is Mycology?
Mycology, or the study of fungi, is a complex branch of biology that deals with the analysis of the fungi’s genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy, as well as their use to humans. While the field of mycology does cover all fungi, including molds, yeasts, and parasites, it is almost always synonymous with the more specific study of mycelium and the mushrooms they produce.
These mushrooms have been around for millions of years, and of service to mankind for thousands. Mushrooms have an amazingly diverse set of bioactive compounds ranging from polysaccharides and tritpenes to psychoactive substances like psilocybin. With modern technology, and demand, it is no wonder that traditional mushroom cultivation is moving to a more industrial and scientific approach. Read on to learn more about what a mushroom is, why they are so important, as well as how they can be processed, extracted, and mixed into final products.
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a type of fungus. More specifically, mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a much larger fungal network. The main body of a mushroom is referred to as mycelium, and normally grows hidden from sight, within the soil, or a substrate like fallen timber. Unlike plants that make their own food by means of photosynthesis, fungi get their nutrients by externally digesting the organic matter surrounding them, then absorbing it. Mycelium can generally be observed as a white, filamentous, web of hypha that branch out and sprawl within the substrate. As these hyphal threads absorb nutrients and continue to colonize their surroundings, a large network known as a mycelial colony is formed.
Under certain adverse conditions, the mycelial colony will be triggered into reproduction. While most mycelium are capable of both asexual and sexual reproduction, the most popular species for mushroom cultivation reproduce asexually by dispersing spores. In order to do this, the mycelium needs an efficient method, and that is where the mushroom comes into play.
Mushrooms are the fruits, or fruiting bodies, of the mycelium, their goal is to grow and help disperse genetic material into the winds, or onto the fur of passing animals. Just as a tree produces a fruit, the mycelial colony produces a mushroom.
Why do we love them?
For thousands of years mushrooms have been in mankind’s diet. Many mushrooms are edible and grow in abundance, providing dietary sustenance, while others are gourmet delicacies, or even powerful superfoods. Some species have potent medicinal benefits, while others are lethal with the smallest taste. While yet another group prove to have intoxicating and hallucinogenic effects on the human body. With a diverse genius hosting over 13,000 species, it is no wonder that the mushroom has found so many uses in human society.
Mushroom extractions and tinctures
In most cases we can gain our sustenance and reap the beneficial effects of mushrooms just by ingesting them as is, in their fresh or dried forms, or by incorporating them into cooking. But what if we want to create an extremely potent substance by concentrating the chemicals found naturally within the mushrooms? This is where the process of extraction comes into play. Mushroom extractions can range from processes as simple as using warm water to make a tea, to more complex laboratory processes utilizing solvents and specialized equipment. Processes like ethanol extraction, sonication, filtration, distillation, and synthesis can all be utilized to create mushroom extracts and isolations. These extracts can be ingested by themselves, or easily incorporated into other products such as chocolates, candies, medicines, and much more.
Everything needed for mycology cultivation and research. From Freeze Dryers to Scales, Hot Plates to Pipettes, Bioreactors, and everything in between, we have the equipment for success!
Take a quick glance at our most popular equipment selections specifically for mushroom extraction and processing
Incubators provide a stable and controlled environment that is optimal for mycelial growth. When dealing with inoculations, cloning, and general mycelial growth, there is no better instrument.
Ideal for drying fresh material, as well as for the formulation of end products. Freeze Dryers remove more moisture than the dehydration processes, while also retaining more flavor.
High amplitude sonicators are essential tools in the mushroom extraction laboratory. Ultrasonic assisted extraction enables much faster extraction times, as well as higher and more consistent yields.
Found in every mycology laboratory, the pipette is a crucial tool used for measuring and dispensing small volumes of liquid. Ideal for transferring liquid cultures to dishes and substrate, as well as much more.
A peristaltic pump, also commonly known as a roller pump, is a type of positive displacement pump used for pumping a variety of fluids.
Analytical scales are ideal for very sensitive and small measurements. With accuracy down to .1mg these scales provide excellent
functionality and performance for fine measurement.
Ai Vac Ovens set the standard for uniform and accurate heating. Because of this they are the #1 choice for BHO extractors around the world. These CE, UL, and CSA certified units are ideal for all cannabis related process that require purging, drying, or degassing.
Chemical Reactors are extremely versatile in their applications and crucial to sectors such as pharmaceutical production, research and process chemistry, botanical extraction, and purification, as well as various food, and industrial, processes.
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