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How Mushroom Extracts Are Made

How Mushroom Extracts Are Made


Mushroom extracts are taking the beauty world by storm, and for good reason — these humble ground dwellers pack a punch when it comes to antioxidants, anti-aging benefits, hydration, immune support and so much more. But how do they get that power into our skin care products, supplements and other formulations? Mushrooms have a tough exterior called chitin cell walls that lock in all of their goodness. To reap the rewards of the mushroom kingdom, we need to break through that chitin and unlock the powerful compounds inside, which is where mushroom extracts come in. Go here

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To make a mushroom extract, mushrooms are cooked in water until the liquid reduces and is concentrated (a process known as tincturing). The mushroom-infused water is then mixed with alcohol to create an alcoholic extract. The alcohol preserves the non-water-soluble substances (terpenes, sterols and flavonoids) from reacting to heat or water, so they are preserved for later use in a finished product.

Depending on the mushroom, some extracts may also be made through cold pressing and dehydration to produce a dry powder. For example, lion’s mane is often used in cognitive support and home mushroom cultivation kits are available to grow it at home, while cordyceps is well known for its energy-boosting properties.

Some species require more treatment than just a hot water extraction, such as chaga and reishi, which have super thick cell walls. They need a dual extraction with ethanol to unlock all of their bioactive compounds. The final product is a liquid, which can then be sprayed onto dried mushroom mycelium or dehydrated to become a powder.

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