Highly Efficient Chaga Extraction via Sonication

Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) are rich in very potent phyto-chemicals (e.g. polysaccharides, betulinic acid, triterpenoids), which are known to contribute to health and to fight diseases. Using high-power ultrasonic frequency for chaga extraction is the preferred technique to produce superior chaga extracts of highest quality and yield.

Chaga Mushroom Extracts by Ultrasonics

Extracts from Inonotus obliquus, also known as chaga mushroom, are produced via ultrasonic extraction (picture credit: Tad Montgomery & Assoc., TadMontgomery.com) Ultrasonic extraction is a highly efficacious technique of releasing phytochemical compounds from botanicals such as plants and fungi.
Chaga mushrooms are rich in several compounds such as polysaccharides, triterpenes, and polyphenols, which are responsible for most of its health-promoting and therapeutic effects. Chaga’s major bioactive compounds are polysacchardides (e.g., β-glucans, proteoglycans comprising d-galactose, d-glucose, d-xylose, and d-mannose), triperpenoids (e.g., betulin, betulinic acid), polyphenols, phytosterols (e.g., inotodiol) amongst other compounds.

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Ultrasonic batch extraction of bioactive compounds from medicinal mushrooms using the probe-type ultrasonicator UP100H.

The UP100H, a 100 watts powerful ultrasonic extractor, is used to extract bioactive compounds from chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus).

Ultrasonic extraction efficiently breaks the cells of the chaga mushroom and releases the intracellular compounds (i.e., the bioactive phytochemicals) into the solvent. Ultrasonic extraction is based on the working principle of acoustic cavitation. The effects of ultrasonic / acoustic cavitation are high-shear forces, turbulences and intense pressure differentials. These sonomechanical forces break cellular structures such as the chitinous mushroom cell walls, promote mass transfer between chaga material and solvent and result in very high extract yields within a rapid process. Additionally, sonication promotes the sterilization of extracts by killing bacteria and microbes. Microbial inactivation by sonication is a result of the destructive cavitational forces to the cell membrane, the production of free radicals, and localized heating.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Chaga Extraction

  • Highly efficient – high yields
  • High quality
  • Rapid process
  • Mild treatment
  • Non-thermal
  • One-step, one-pot extraction
  • Compatible with any solvent
  • Easy and safe to operate

Why is Ultrasonic Chaga Extraction so Advantageous?

Ultrasonic extraction is applied in many fields of extract production, e.g. botanical and herbal extracts for foods, supplements, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. A very prominent example of ultrasonic extraction is the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) and other compounds from the cannabis plant.
Since ultrasonic extraction is a non-thermal extraction technique, the bioactive compounds are mildly processed with ultrasound waves and thereby the thermal degradation of sensitive plant compounds is prevented. All ultrasonic process parameters, i.e. amplitude, intensity, temperature and pressure, can be exactly controlled. This allows for precise process and quality control and makes it easy to repeat and reproduce once obtained extraction results. Extract producers value ultrasonication for its reliable process repeatability, which helps to standardize processes and products at high quality levels.

Ultrasonic Homogenizer UP100H for the agitated batch extraction of Chaga Mushrooms.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Chaga Mushrooms Using a UP100H

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High Quality, High Yield Chaga Extracts by Sonication

Research confirms that ultrasonically produced chaga mushroom extracts contain more triterpenoids than a conventional hot water extract. The ultrasonic extraction technique promotes the release and isolation of all important compounds from chaga (I. obliquus) mushrooms. The ultrasonically assisted extraction excels alternative extraction methods by superior efficiency and an enhanced bioavailability of the bioactive phytochemicals in the mushroom extract. The excerpts from scientific research studies demonstrate the high efficiency and yield of ultrasonic chaga extraction.

Polysaccharide Extraction from Chaga

Zhang et al. used ultrasonic assisted extraction to develop optimal conditions for the extraction of polysaccharides from I. obliquus, with the best conditions involving use of water as a solvent for 15 minutes at 95 °C with ultrasound frequency extraction, which gave extraction values of 1.82%

Betulin / Betulinic Acid Extraction from Chaga

The results show that ultrasound had played an active role in extracting betulin and betulinic acid because it can force cell walls to open and promotes better mass and heat transfer. This in turn helps to successfully extract the desired phytochemicals in a short time with high efficiency. The small increase in yields on addition of the solvent extraction step after ultrasonication indicated that most of these compounds must have been extracted out of the biomass. The results obtained indicate the maximum amount of extractable betulin in the biomass. (Alhazmi, 2017) Overall, ultrasonication dramatically increased betulin and betulinic acid yield.

Ultrasonic chaga mushroom extraction

Ultrasonicator UP400St with horn S24D22L2 for chaga (Inonotus obliquus) extraction

Step-by-Step Extraction Protocol

In order to isolate a strong full spectrum extract from chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus), a two step extraction protocol using power ultrasonics is applied.
Material: Dried I. obliquus (100g) is crushed into smaller pieces of approx. 1,3cm2 (0.5×0.5 inches). The chrushed mushroom material is placed into an 1.5L glass beaker.

  1. Step: Ultrasonic Cold Extraction: The dried, ground chaga is suspended in 1000 mL of 60% ethanol in purified or distilled water (v/v; 60% ethanol : 40% water) by adding the solvent mixture into the glass beaker with the chaga. For extraction, an ultrasonic extractor UP400St equipped with sonotrode S24d22L2D is used. The horn (sonotrode) of the ultrasonicator is immersed into suspension of mushroom and solvent. The use of a stirrer is optional, but may help to transport the plant particles uniformly to the sonotrode. Make sure that the sonotrode does not touch the walls of the beaker. Set amplitude to 100% and sonicate for approx. 10 min. The UP400St comes with a pluggable temperature sensor. Connect the thermocouple with ultrasonicator and insert the sensor into the suspension. In the digital menu of the ultrasonic device UP400St, you can set an upper temperature limit. The ultrasonicator will pause when this temperature maximum is reached and starts automatically as soon as the suspension has reached the lower value of the set ∆T. Recommended ∆T values are approx. 30°C as upper and 20°C as lower temperature value. The use of an water or ice bath helps to keep the temperature during sonication low. After sonication, the mushroom solids are removed by filtration and pressing. The solvent with the extracted phyto-chemicals undergoes vacuum evaporation or rotor-evaporation so that finally the chaga fraction from ethanol-extraction is obtained. The residual chaga solids can be used for an optional second soaking step, the ultrasonic hot extraction.
  2. Step (optional): Ultrasonic Hot Extraction: The from first extraction recovered chaga raw material is used in the second step of ultrasonic hot extraction to isolate the fraction of still remaining phytochemicals in the chaga mushrooms. The fungus material is placed in a glass beaker, 600mL of fresh 60% ethanol : 40% water solvent solution is added and heated to approx. 70°C. During sonication, the temperature can rise up to 95°C. The additional heat promotes the release of residual phytochemicals. Since almost all thermo-sensitive compounds have been extracted under thermally controlled conditions in step 1 , this second step can be optionally applied to create a very strong extract, that is complete in all phytochemicals of the chaga mushroom. The suspension is sonicated with the UP400St in the same manner as described above. Filter, press and separate mushrooms from water extract. The phyto-constituents in the second extraction are also isolated via evaporation.

Both chaga extract fractions, from water and ethanol extraction, are blended together so that a full spectrum chaga mushroom extract is obtained. This extract can be formulated into various products such as tinctures, capsules or edible products.

This process is completely linear scalable to any other volume. Applying the same ultrasonic parameters (ultrasonic intensity Ws/L, pressure, temperature, solid:liquid concentration), all once established results of ultrasonic chaga extraction can be simply scaled to larger (or smaller) volumes whilst achieving the same results (i.e. yields, process efficiency).

Ultrasonic mushroom extraction allows for the fast and reliable isolation of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides and alkaloids from medicinal fungi such as maiitake, chaga, lion's mane, reishi or cordyceps.

Ultrasonically produced mushroom extracts are rich in polysaccharides, which are known for numerous beneficial health effects. The ultrasonicator UP100H is a 100 watts powerful ultrasonic extractor for the efficient extraction of medicinal mushrooms such as chaga, lion’s mane, reishi or cordyceps.

Your Choice of Solvent

Ultrasonic extractor UP400St (400 watts, 24kHz) for the extraction of betulinic acid from chagaUltrasonic extraction is compatible with any solvent. This allows you to use the solvent of your preference. In the chaga extraction protocol above we recommend a solvent solution comprising 60% ethanol : 40% water (v/v). The combination of ethanol and water enables to release phytochemicals of various polarities. Alternatively, a two-phase extraction using ethanol in a first extraction step and water in a second extraction step can be applied. Ultrasonic extraction using a solvent combination of alcohol and water releases water-soluble and alcohol-soluble phytochemicals from mushrooms such as chaga.
Therefore, extraction is fundamental in creating pure and potent mushroom extracts.
Other solvents used for Inonotus obliquus extraction are isopropanol, methanol, methanol containing 10% acetic acid, ethyl acetate amongst others. For food-grade extracts, a non-toxic solvent is recommended, since after solvent removal (e.g. evaporation) sometimes residual trace amounts might be left in the extract.

Process Parameters for Ultrasonic Chaga Extraction

  • Sonication intensity (Ws/L)
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Solvent
  • Particle size of raw material

Why Give Ultrasonic Baths Insufficient Chaga Extraction Results?

Ultrasonic baths are commonly used for mild cleaning applications. In an ultrasonic bath, acoustic cavitation occurs uncontrolled and unevenly distributed through a relatively large tank. If you put a glass beaker with your mushroom-solvent mixture into an ultrasonic bath, the already weak ultrasound waves must pass through the beaker walls, which diminishes the intensity of the ultrasound even further. This means that the ultrasound intensity of an ultrasonic cleaning tank is too weak for an efficient mushroom extraction. Mushroom cell walls contain chitin, a tough material that makes mushroom cells very rigid and hard to disrupt. In order to release the bioactive compounds from mushrooms such as chaga, high-intensity ultrasound is required. Ultrasonic probes create much more intense acoustic cavitation, the force that breaks fungal cell walls open.

In this video, we compare the extraction power of an ultrasonic bath - also known as an ultrasonic cleaner - with that of a Hielscher UP100H ultrasonic probe.

Mushroom Extraction - Bath vs Probe Ultrasonication - Side-by-Side Comparison

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Ultrasonic probes create much more intense acoustic cavitation, the force that breaks fungal cell walls open. The UV-Vis analysis chart shows the comparison between ultrasonic probe and ultrasonic bath extraction of chaga mushroom. The probe-type ultrasonicator gives significantly higher yields of bioactive chaga compounds.

The UV-Vis analysis chart shows the comparison between ultrasonic probe and ultrasonic bath extraction of chaga mushroom. The probe-type ultrasonicator UP100H (black curve) gives significantly higher yields of bioactive chaga compounds.

Read more about the differences of ultrasonic probes and ultrasonic baths and see how they compare in extraction efficiency!

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High-Performance Ultrasonicators for Chaga Extraction

Ultrasonic extraction is a reliable processing technology, which facilitates and accelerates the production of high-quality extracts from various raw materials such as chaga and other mushrooms. Hielscher Ultrasonics portfolio covers the full range from compact lab ultrasonicators to industrial extraction systems. Thereby, we at Hielscher can offer you the most suitable ultrasonicator for your envisaged process capacity. Our long-time experienced staff will assist you from feasibility tests and process optimisation to the installation of your ultrasonic system on final production level.
The small foot-print of our ultrasonic extractors as well as their versatility in installation options make them fit even into small-space pectin processing facilities. Ultrasonic processors are installed worldwide in food, pharma and nutritional supplement production facilities.

Hielscher Ultrasonics – Sophisticated Extraction Equipment

Hielscher Ultrasonics product portfolio covers the full range of high-performance ultrasonic extractors from small to large scale. Additional accessories allow for the easy assembly of the most suitable ultrasonic device configuration for your chaga extraction process. The optimal ultrasonic setup depends on the envisaged capacity, volume, raw material, batch or inline process and timeline.

Batch and Continuous Flow-Through

Hielscher ultrasonicators can be used for batch and continuous flow-through processing. Ultrasonic batch processing is ideal for process testing, optimisation and small to mid-size production level. For a producing large volumes of chaga mushroom, inline processing might be more advantageous. A continuous inline mixing process requires sophisticated setup – consisting in a pump, hoses or pipes and tanks -, but it is highly efficient, rapid and requires significantly less labour. All industrial systems can be operated under elevated pressures, which increases cavitation and thereby extraction efficiency. Hielscher Ultrasonics has the most suitable extraction setup for your extraction volume and process goals.

Ultrasonic Extractors for Every Product Capacity

UIP4000hdT flow cell for inline sonication on industrial scaleHielscher Ultrasonics product range covers the full spectrum of ultrasonic processors from compact lab ultrasonicators over bench-top and pilot systems to fully-industrial ultrasonic processors with the capacity to process truckloads per hour. The full product range allows us to offer you the most suitable ultrasonic extractor for your chaga as well as other mushrooms, process capacity and production targets.
Ultrasonic benchtop systems are ideal for feasibility tests and process optimization. Linear scale-up based on established process parameters makes it very easy to increase the processing capacities from smaller lots to fully commercial production. Up-scaling can be done by either installing a more powerful ultrasonic extractor unit or clustering several ultrasonicators in parallel. With the UIP16000, Hielscher offers the most powerful ultrasonic extractor worldwide.

Precisely Controllable Amplitudes for Optimum Results

All Hielscher ultrasonicators are precisely controllable and thereby reliable work horses in production. The amplitude is one of the crucial process parameters that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of ultrasonic extraction of phytochemicals from chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus).
Hielscher's industrial processors of the hdT series can be comfortable and user-friendly operated via browser remote control.All Hielscher Ultrasonics’ processors allow for the precise setting of the amplitude. Sonotrodes and booster horns are accessories that allow to modify the amplitude in an even wider range. Hielscher’s industrial ultrasonic processors can deliver very high amplitudes and deliver the required ultrasonic intensity for demanding applications. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7 operation.
Precise amplitude settings and the permanent monitoring of the ultrasonic process parameters via smart software give you the possibility to treat your raw material of mushrooms with the most effective ultrasonic conditions. Optimal sonication for best extraction results!
The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments. This makes Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment a reliable work tool that fulfils your extraction requirements.

Easy, Risk-free Testing

Ultrasonic processes can be completely linear scaled. This means every result that you have achieved using a lab or bench-top ultrasonicator, can be scaled to exactly the same output using the exactly same process parameters. This makes ultrasonication ideal for risk-free feasibility testing, process optimization and subsequent implementation into commercial manufacturing. Contact us to learn how sonication can increase your chaga extract production.

Highest Quality – Designed and Manufactured in Germany

As a family-owned and family-run business, Hielscher prioritizes highest quality standards for its ultrasonic processors. All ultrasonicators are designed, manufactured and thoroughly tested in our headquarter in Teltow near Berlin, Germany. Robustness and reliability of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment make it a work horse in your production. 24/7 operation under full load and in demanding environments is a natural characteristic of Hielscher’s high-performance extractors.
You can buy Hielscher ultrasonic processor in any different size and exactly configured to your process requirements of mushroom extraction. From treating fungi in a small lab beaker to the continuous flow-through mixing of mushroom slurries on industrial level, Hielscher Ultrasonics offers a suitable ultrasonicator for you! Please contact us – we are glad to recommend you the ideal ultrasonic setup!

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

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Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

Ultrasonication is a fast and mild extraction method to produce high-quality mushroom extract. In the video, a UP400St is used for shitake extraction.

Cold Mushroom Extraction using UP400St with 22mm probe

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Literature / References

Facts Worth Knowing

Chaga Mushroom

Inonotus obliquus, also known as chaga mushroom, is a parasitic Polyporus mushroom. As a medicinal basidiomycetes fungus, chaga is classified in the Hymenochaetaceae family, Hymenochaetales order, and Agaricomycetes class, respectively. Chaga is extremely cold-resistant, with its mycelium growing in woods that tolerates temperatures as low as −40 °C. The chaga fungus infects hardwood trees and is mostly found growing on birches, and to a lesser extent, on trees from the genera Quercus (oaks), Populus (poplars), Alnus (alders), Fagus (ashes), and Acer (maples). It is normally present at latitudes of 45–50° and can be widely found in Northern Europe, Canada, Poland, Russia, the Hokkaido region of Japan, as well as in the Heilongjiang province and the Changbai mountain area in China. Chaga (I. obliquus) has attracted increasing attention in nutritional and medicinal research due to its highly effective phytochemicals, which are known to provide anti-tumor, antioxidative, immunomodulatory, and anti-asthmatic effects, as well as other medicinal benefits. Several studies have shown that the polysaccharides of chaga mushrooms are one of the major bioactive constituents that give Inonotus obliquus mushrooms their beneficial health-promoting properties.

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