Why are Functional Fungi Mushrooms grown on corn?
Corn is a stable substrate.  We’ve grown on many different substrates but corn tends to yield consistent mushroom growth.  It also allows for us to add herbs in the growth process that harmoniously grows with the substrate and mushrooms.  Of course, in this case, we can get some benefit from a strain of corn, Purple Corn, that is known to possess certain positive attributes.   The corn we use is certified organic and non-GMO.  It is grown and sold by a longstanding US grower of specialty organic, non-gmo corn products.

Are solvents used in the Functional Fungi growing and processing stages?
There are no solvents used in the process.

What type of products are the Functional Fungi mushroom powders? Freeze-dried powder from the fungal mycelium? Or the fermented substrate on which it grows (typically cultured on rice flour)?
They are a fermented substrate developed in a patented process, described below:

The Functional Fungi certified organic mushroom powders are a “Whole Food Mushroom Solution” from a multi-patented process designed to result in a maximum amount of naturally occurring bioactive nutrients, that includes a solid-state, liquid fermentation process.

Here is a brief overview of the process:

  1. PRE-INOCULATION PHASE – parallel paths between mushroom mycelium and “superfoods” substrate:
    1. Mycelium process
      1. species incubation and germination phase, approx. 30-50 day process
      2. Liquid culture propagation that multiplies the viable mushroom reproductive cells
    2. Substrate process
      1. Certified organic, dried “superfood” (purple corn) substrate is soaked and sprouted in energized alkaline, redox optimized water through a patented process,
      2. “Superfoods” substrate is activated by a combination of heat and pressure
      3. “Superfoods” substrate is rapidly cooled to reach optimal inoculation temperature
  2. INOCULATION PHASE -a) Liquid mycelium culture innoculates the “superfood” substrate – this is the phase where the joining of the mushroom culture takes place with the “superfoods” growth substrate
    1. Mycelial multiplication occurs at highly controlled, optimal growth temperatures for 14 – 28 depending on the strain and environmental factors to create a “Mother Culture,” which is the strongest known culture used to inoculate mycelial biomass
    2. Mushroom “Mother Culture” is used to spawn multiplication process of mycelial biomass with full maturation of mycelium fruit-bodies and spores, species dependent, over 21 – 28 days
    3. Organic mushroom mycelial biomass is harvested and carefully dried, using a proprietary “ByoDry” process that uses an optimal combination of temperature and airflow that preserves the fragile bioactives present. If drying temperature is too high or uncontrolled, it can radically damage the natural bioactives present in the final mushroom powders
    4. The resulting, dried mushroom biomass, is micro-milled into a finished Certified Organic Whole Foods Mushroom powder that is lab tested and verified to confirm strain identity using DNA test methods in addition to microbial and heavy metal testing

What dose is recommended for mushroom powders in general?
In general, 1000 – 2000 mgs per dose are consistent levels as seen in the marketplace across many different types of mushrooms.  Different species and different dosage levels have been studied for more specific functional outcomes.

What type of materials are the Functional Fungi mushrooms?  Whole foods or standardized extracts?
The Functional Fungi raw materials are 100% Certified Organic, Patented, Whole Foods Nutraceutical Mushroom powders.  They are not standardized extracts.  We believe there is greater nutritive value in the whole food structure than an isolated compound of a mushroom element.

What nutritional content has been identified on any of the Functional Fungi strains grown on Purple Corn?
Functional Fungi performed a nutritional content analysis on a lot of Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and found a Total Glucans content over 64%.  Since this is a whole foods mushroom powder, there is not a standardization level like found in extracts, and may be subject to vary.  However, due to our robust SOP’s and experience with growing and processing the mushroom powders, there should be consistent levels from lot to lot.

What species of Lion’s Mane does Functional Fungi offer?
Hericium Erinaceus, all species are listed in the Products section of the website.

What is/are Primordia?
The early, premature stage of mushroom fruiting bodies.

How are the Functional Fungi Mushroom powders dried?
This is a proprietary process using both airflow and tightly controlled temperature to preserve the maximum amount of natural bioactives present in the mushroom powder.

How water soluble are the Functional Fungi Mushroom powders?
Mushroom mycelium powders are not highly soluble. They are not insoluble but are not a quick dissolve item.

What are the definitions of stroma, mycelium, and fruiting body?
Fruiting body – is fleshy, contains spores, and grows above ground or directly on the surface of its host, like a tree or old log. The mushroom’s fruiting body comprises a stem, cap, and gills, which are what the general populace would eat in a culinary dish, but in nature, it acts primarily as the reproductive component of a fungal system, dispersing spores and inoculating hosts. Not all mushrooms have a fruiting body.

Mycelium –  the main body and feeding membrane of a mushroom. It grows underground or within the host plant. The mycelium acts much like a complex network that can communicate with and adapt to its surrounding environment. Think of it like the roots of the mushrooms. The mycelium is responsible for taking in nutrients by breaking down decaying matter (substrates) using various enzymes. These nutrients from the substrates are absorbed and transferred through hyphae to feed and support not just the fungus itself but whole ecosystems. Refer to page 14 of the FF deck.

Stroma – various shaped continuous layer of cellular tissue in which the fruiting body is immersed, or the solid mass after all liquid is removed from the biomass.

How do you confirm if the final product is mycelium biomass (no real fruiting bodies)?
This is species dependent, however the finished product is a mycelium biomass that contains a combination of mycelium, primordia, fruit-bodies and spores.  Three of the species we stock, for instance – Chaga, Cordyceps & Turkey Tail – are non-fruiting mushroom species.

Please explain how Functional Fungi properly tests for Cordyceps sinensis species identification.

Finished product botanical ID testing can be very difficult.  When dealing with subjects as complex as mushrooms, there are no guarantees that you will be able to detect the presence of the specific mushroom component (mycelium, fruting body, etc.) in a blend due to co-elution, interference, and/or limits of technology.

The complexity of the blend that may contain the purple corn growth substrate, the concentration of the individual botanicals within the blend, the botanical phytochemical profile of the mushroom species and part and the processing performed on the blend are a few factors that influence the ability to detect the presence of the mushroom in the blend at the very end stage.  The only way to find out if we can detect the presence of the individual mushroom species within a specific blend is to go through the process of blend method development testing and analysis by HPTLC.

We have worked with our external lab to develop the fingerprint/method by HPTLC on our CS-PC product and assigned the method a unique Botanical Test Method Number (BTM).  In working to develop this method we are able to test our products against it and are able to verify the presence of Cordyceps sinensis.  Lastly, as a word of caution on DNA samples taken from other countries, for mushrooms it is difficult to always prove their validity and purity.  Also recommend checking to make sure they come with a phytosanitation certificate as the Functional Fungi cultures do.