Why a Dual Extraction?


The art and science of extracting the goodness from our foods seems to grow ever more complicated. Whether mushrooms should be extracted with water or alcohol or both is a question that often comes up. 


Extracted compounds should contain the highest percentage of active ingredients a food source contains and should offer bioavailability - a term indicating the optimum rate of absorption by the body. In most medicinal mushrooms it’s the beta-glucan (water-soluble) and triterpenes (water-insoluble) constituents that we are after. 

What is a Hot Water Extract?

A hot water extract is exactly what it sounds like – water over heat to dissolve water-soluble ingredients.

This is the most commonly used method for mushroom extraction because beta-glucan is the water-soluble compound we so highly prize. Heat is used to break down the chitin cellular walls so that we can extract the vitamin and mineral rich beta-glucans found in ALL mushroom species. 

What is an Alcohol Extract?

Alcohol is the solvent typically used to isolate terpenes (triterpenoids), sterols and flavonoids which are the main non-water soluble active compounds. These protein rich amino acids are unique to each mushroom species and are highly prized for their medicinal qualities. See the individual mushroom posts for their benefits. 

In most cases both water and alcohol extraction is done to obtain a full spectrum preparation. This is referred to as a dual or double extraction. 

The Dual?

The word “dual” sounds like it should lead to best results BUT this may not always be the case. There is a school of thought that insists NOT all mushrooms are the same! The softer edibles such as Shiitake and Lionsmane need only water and heat extraction and that an alcohol extraction may actually be a detrimental step. The extra step should only be reserved for the hard non-edibles such as Reishi, Turkeytail and Chaga. 

The Takeaway

So, until the experts can agree, we at Co2nutraceutics perform a double extraction as we believe this is best!

When shopping around for mushroom supplements it’s best to read label information - this will ensure you are buying the highest quality supplement.

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