Bioavailable powder

Hey all, we are just getting into making powders from our fruitbodies here and I was wondering if ya’ll have some insights into how to best break down the chitin and making nurients and metabolites available to people ingesting powders.

From what I gather, many producers are steaming their powders after they have been dried and powdered in order to break down the cell walls of the fungi. It is unclear to me what type of equipment is needed for that and what the costs of that might be.

We do have a friend that runs a business drying, roasting and milling various forms of legumes and nuts.

Does anyone know if we might be able to just finly chop our lions mane, dry it and then give it to our friend to roast at an appropriate tempererature and then grind it? Will that make it bioavailable? Does anyone have resources on making this more clear? What temperatures should we be roasting at in that case?

Hoping you might know @glyph or someone else in this space :slight_smile:



The bioavailability question is not one I’ve ever found a satisfactory answer to. I don’t know what technique(s) the major industry players are using to steam their powders.

If I had the time for a deep-dive on this topic I’d look into the literature on thermal degradation of chitin. I imagine you’d want to find the sweet-spot: hot enough to degrade the chitin, cool enough not to degrade too many of the other compounds (polysaccharides, sterols, terpenes etc.). It would be good to consult a professional microbiologist or mycologist on this topic.

Another line of research would be enzymatic degradation of chitin. I’d be eager to learn how fermentation might be employed to degrade the chitin and enhance bioavailability. I think this is a relatively unexplored field in the world of medicinal mushrooms (at least among small-scale operations and amateur / self-taught mycologists). I also like the idea of using microbes to enhance bioavailability, rather than having to burn fossil fuels to generate steam.

A third option would be to try a number of approaches to steaming and grinding (different temperatures, different granularity) and then have the resulting samples bioassayed. This will be expensive but at least you’ll have clear results. As an aside: I’m not sure if it’s possible to get an accurate measure of polysaccharide content of a sample…I remember reading that they claims of “30% beta-glucans” etc. should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Wish I had more time to assist you with this! Very busy on the coding side of decentralised networks right now :wink:

Probably not a bad idea to reach out to Cameron and see if he’d be willing to answer some of your questions.


P.s. I know some friends of mine do their powder steaming in a pressure cooker, thought I don’t know for how long.

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Another option, while I’m thinking about it:

You could create a dual-extraction of the mushrooms (hot-water extract + tincture) and then dehydrate the resulting solution. That will either yield a powder or a gooey substance. I imagine the bioavailability of this substance would be higher than steamed powder, since you’ve used both heat and alcohol to perform the degradation and have captured the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble constituents.

If the resulting product is gooey, it can be rolled into balls with dehydrated, powdered grain spawn (for example). Lots of product options…

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Good question!!!
As a physician I can testify that human gastric juices contain chitinase, so chitin can be at least, partially digested.
With that in mind, I would assume that drying the whole mushroom than pulverizing in a simple grinder can make a product that is, at least partially, bioavailable.
I separated the following article for you:

Human gastric juice contains chitinase that can degrade chitin

Maurizio G Paoletti et al. Ann Nutr Metab. 2007.

Keep up the good work!
To facilitate I added the abstract:


Chitin digestion by humans has generally been questioned or denied. Only recently chitinases have been found in several human tissues and their role has been associated with defense against parasite infections and to some allergic conditions. In this pilot study we tested the gastric juices of 25 Italian subjects on the artificial substrates 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-N,N’,diacetylchitobiose or/and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) chitin to demonstrate the presence of a chitinase activity. Since this chitinase activity was demonstrated at acidic pH, it is currently referred to acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase). AMCase activity was present in gastric juices of twenty of 25 Italian patients in a range of activity from 0.21 to 36.27 nmol/ml/h and from 8,881 to 1,254,782 fluorescence emission (CPS), according to the used methods. In the remaining five of 25 gastric juices, AMCase activity was almost absent in both assay methods. An allosamidine inhibition test and the measurement at different pH values confirmed that this activity was characteristic of AMCase. The absence of activity in 20% of the gastric juices may be a consequence of virtual absence of chitinous food in the Western diet.

Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Just a comment:
The 20% that did not have chitinase activity maybe had neutral stomach pH by using proton pump inhibitors like aciphex, protonix, Prilosec etc Since that activity appears to be dependent on low stomach pH ( high acidity)


Here we go again!!
Bioavailability in medicine is quite complex and “medications” might not need to be bioavailable by themselves!!!.
That is because your gut flora ( bacteria) might do the job for you!
I agree with the above post that says very little research is done on this subject and I assume that with the increase in popularity of mushrooms, more will be investigated,


not exactly the same, but @phylanx also discusses bio-availability in their process for making chaga tinctures here


Thanks all for replies, this is all very helpful! Currently can’t access the site on my computer so will try to reply more as that is possible :blush:

(A little odd that it works on mobile browsers… same for others?)

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hey @zaunders , there were some issues with the SSL cert (sorry!), but all should be working now ~

Hey peeps, I had some issues with the network being unavailable, and then… well life was going on as well :smiley:

So, I have been researching this topic as well and find it highly interesting! I would advise against a dried dual extract for various reasons: 1. possible issues with precipitation of polysaccharides when water and ethanol fractions are mixed, 2. it’s expensive to do (labor & ethanol mostly) and 3. you can also just make a decoction to break down the chitin and then reduce/dry everything in the end - then the water insoluble parts are more bioavailable due to the degradation of the chitin and since you include the original mushroom material in the final product there will be no loss of any compounds (the only factor here would be the applied temperature). I haven’t tried this out because some equipment is needed but this is definitely on my list for this year and thankfully I’ll be able to work with my university, so the equipment is available to me. I will keep you posted for sure!

Another option is extremely fine grinding, I have read about this somewhere but not sure where… In theory it makes sense to me - you just break down everything so fine that the chitin matrix of the cell walls is cracked up, so that your gut (and the aforementioned chitinases) can extract the compounds from the powder directly. Downside: again, you need the equipment for this procedure…

I hope this helps to shed some light and gives you some inspiration!