Ultrasonic Extraction of Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms are known since ancient times for their exceptional health benefits. Recently, medicinal fungi turn into a mainstream commodity to improve health and to boost energy. In order to experience the full spectrum of health supporting effects of medicinal fungi, compounds such as polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and other bioactive substances must be released from the mushroom cells. Ultrasonic extraction is an excellent technique to isolate bioactive compounds from botanicals, such as Reishi, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Chaga etc.

Medicinal Mushroom ExtractsMade with Ultrasonics

Medicinal fungi have been established their status as superfood and nootropic due to their extraordinary effects onto the cognitive functions and immune system. Beside their health and cognitive boosting effects, medicinal mushrooms are used to prevent and treat diseases (e.g. cancer, diabetes, inflammation etc.). The most well-known species of edible fungi are Chaga, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Shiitake, and Maitake.

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

Cold Mushroom Extraction using UP400St with 22mm probe

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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).

When it comes to the most prominent health effects of mushrooms, bioactive compounds of fungi have been shown to boost immunity, increase nerve growth factor (NGF), improve endurance during physical activity as well as longevity. The bioactive compounds, which cause the health-boosting effects, are for example polysaccharides such as α-glucans and β-glucans. The profile of glucans differs between the specific fungi species and is responsible for the specific use of different mushrooms to achieve various effects. For instance, Lion’s Mane promotes the nerve growth factor (NGF), while the Cordyceps fungus improves endurance, and Reishi supports the immune system and longevity.
Click on the following links to learn more about the extraction from specific mushrooms including extraction protocols and video demonstrations:

Why Mushroom Extracts?

Mushroom extracts are advantageous since only small amounts consumed have the same effects as when large amounts of mushroom powders are ingested, which is necessary to obtain the desired effects. Ultrasonically isolated mushroom extracts give you all the important nutrients and bioactive substances in a very concentrated form!

Ultrasonic Extraction of Polysaccharides

To isolate polysaccharides (such as alpha-glucans and beta-glucans), triterpenes and other bioactive compounds from medicinal mushrooms, ultrasonic extraction is the most convenient, effective, and efficient technique.
Other beneficial components found in many edible mushrooms are selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B3. By intense ultrasonication, the cell walls of fungi (which are made of chitin) are perforated and lysed so that the chemical compounds such as polysaccharides, vitamins etc. are released into the surrounding solvent. Ultrasonic extraction is highly efficient releasing the full spectrum of bioactive compounds within a very short extraction time in comparison to traditional extraction techniques.
After extraction, the bioactive compounds can be separated and purified by filtration, distillation / evaporation and precipitation in order to prepare highly concentrated, highly effective mushroom extracts. Those mushroom extracts are later processed into medicines, dietary supplements, functional food ingredients, tinctures, and tonics.

Ultrasonic Water or Solvent Extraction

A huge advantage of ultrasonic extraction is the broad selection of solvents to choose from. Ultrasonically assisted isolation of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds can be performed in solvents such as water, ethanol, methanol, isopropanol, water/ethanol mixtures, glycerine, vegetable oils etc.
Depending on the targeted compounds to isolate, ultrasonically assisted mushroom extraction can be performed in water or solvents such as ethanol, methanol, isopropanol etc. Since mushrooms contain mostly water-soluble target compunds and only a few non-water soluble components, extraction in water or aqueous ethanol is commonly the preferred method. Solvents with a higher alcohol percentage are used specifically to isolate extracts high in triterpenes.

Hielscher's UP400St is a powerful ultrasonic extractor (Click to enlarge!)

UP400St The ultrasonicator UP400St is highly efficient and allow for rapid extraction of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, terpenes, alkaloids and other mycochemicals from the mycelium and fruiting body of medicinal mushrooms.

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Advantages of Ultrasonic Extraction

  • Most efficient
  • Rapid extraction
  • More complete extraction
  • High quality full-spectrum extracts
  • Mild, non-thermal process (cold extraction)
  • Pharma- / food-grade
  • Standardized process
  • Various solvents to choose from
  • Safe & easy to operate

Results of Ultrasonic Mushroom Extraction

Ultrasonic process parameters are crucial when it comes to the isolation and recovery of phyto-chemicals. First, ultrasonic parameters such as amplitude, pressure, and temperature are important factors to tune the extraction process to highest yield and quality. Secondly, precisely controlled process conditions ensure that the extracts are not degraded by too strong process impacts (e.g. high temperatures). For instance, botanical compounds such as polysaccharides are prone to degradation when exposed to high temperatures.
Hielscher Ultrasonics’ extractors can be exactly controlledby setting amplitude, pressure, temperature to optimal conditions. This allows for reproducible outcome, extract quality, and process standardization.
Research (Alzorqi et al.) has shown that (1-3; 1-6)-β-d-glucans of Malaysian mushrooms extracted by ultrasonication have a higher antioxidant activity, higher molecular weight and optimal degree of branching when compared with extracts produced by conventional extraction techniques.

High-Performance Ultrasonic Extractors

Hielscher Ultrasonics is long-term experienced manufacturer of high-performance ultrasonicators, which are successfully applied for isolation of bioactive components from botanicals and fungi. With a product line covering the full range from smaller hand-held ultrasonicators to bench-top and pilot systems to fully industrial units, Hielscher Ultrasonics is your partner who assists you from first feasibility test and process optimization to the final installation of your industrial production line. In order to release bioactive compounds from botanicals, high amplitudes might be requiredespecially when sturdy cell walls must be perforated and lysed. Hielscher Ultrasonics’ ultrasonic processors, e.g. UIP500hdT or UIP2000hdT, can run very high amplitudes of up to 200µm. These high amplitudes can be run continuously in 24/7 operation, of course. The robustness of Hielscher ultrasonicators ensures a hassle-free 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments.

Why Hielscher Ultrasonics?

  • High performance ultrasonic extractors
  • Precisely controllable
  • Reproducible results
  • Linear scalability
  • Robust & past texnik xizmat ko'rsatish
  • Consultation & service
  • Easy & safe to operate
Hielscher Ultrasonics' SonoStation is an easy-to-use ultrasonic setup for production scale. (Click to enlarge!)

SonoStationan ultrasonic system with 2x 2kW ultrasonicators, stirred tank and pumpis excellent for the extraction of large quantities.

Quyidagi jadvalda ultrasonikatorlarimizning taxminiy qayta ishlash quvvati ko'rsatilgan:

To'plam hajmiOqim darajasiTavsiya etilgan qurilmalar
1 dan 500 ml gacha10 dan 200 ml / minUP100H
10 dan 2000 ml gacha20 dan 400 ml / minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 dan 20 L gacha0.2 dan 4L/min gachaUIP2000hdT
10 dan 100 l gacha2 dan 10 l / minUIP4000
na10 dan 100 l / minUIP16000
nakattaroqning klasteri UIP16000

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Please use the form below, if you wish to request additional information about ultrasonic homogenization. We will be glad to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements.

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In this video we demonstrate the ultrasonic cold water extraction of Chaga mushrooms. The Hielscher UP100H is a 100 watts ultrasonic homogenizer. This 14mm probe - MS14 - is very suitable for botanical extraction of small batches. You can adjust the intensity using the amplitude dial. We use 100% intensity for this extraction demonstration.

Cold Chaga Mushroom Extraction using Ultrasonication

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Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonicators for full-spectrum extracts.

High-power ultrasonic extractors from lab to pilot and industrial scale.

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Facts Worth Knowing

Ultrasonic ExtractionWorking Principle

The ultrasonic extraction is a simple, inexpensive, rapid and efficient technology, which intensifies liquid-solid extraction and excels traditional extraction techniques. The main advantages of ultrasonic solid–liquid extraction are based on faster extraction kinetics and mass transfer as well as on an increase of the extract’s yield. Another benefit is the opportunity to run the extraction process at lower temperatures preventing thermo-sensitive compounds against degradation. In comparison with alternative isolation techniques such as microwave or supercritical CO2, the ultrasonic extractor is lower in cost (for both, purchase and operation) as well as user-friendly and safe to operate.

Ultrasonic / acoustic cavitation creates highly intense forces which opens the cell walls known as lysis (Click to enlarge!)

Ultrasonic extraction is based on acoustic cavitation and its hydrodynamic shear forces. Hielscher Ultrasonicssystems create intense ultrasonic waves and cavitation for the extraction of phyto-chemicals from botanicals.

akustik kavitatsiya – the phenomenon of ultrasonic processing: When intense ultrasonic waves are coupled into a liquid medium, compression and expansion cycles are applied to the fluid. During the expansion (rarefaction), vacuum bubbles or cavities occur in the liquid. These vacuum bubbles are created when the exerted negative pressure exceeds the tensile strength of the fluid. Over various compression / rarefaction cycles, the vacuum bubbles are growing until they reach a point where they cannot absorb further energy so that they collaps violently (bubble implosion). During the bubble implosion, extreme conditions such as very high temperature and pressure differentials, liquid stream and shear forces occur locally. These intense forces break cells (of vegetals and tissue) so that the intra-cellular material (e.g. polysaccharides, terpenes, proteins, flavones etc.) are released into the solvent. The process of formation, growth and collapse of the vacuum bubbles is known as cavitation.


Fungus (plural: fungi) is the botanical term for all members of the group of eukaryotic organisms which include microorganisms such as yeasts, molds, as well as mushrooms. Especially in traditional medicine (e.g. Asian / Chinese medicine), fungi are administered to induce manifold effects such as cognitive improvements, immune system booster or to achieve longevity. Nowadays, medicinal mushrooms are not only used as alternative drug but fungi extracts are consumed as functional foods or superfoods, too. For instance, fungi such as maitake, cordyceps, turkey tail, reishi are ingested to take advantage of their effect as immunomodulators. Several fungus species such as Psilocybin mushrooms (colloquially known as magic mushrooms) are used for their psychedelic properties. Mushrooms are not plants and they are classified into the kingdom of fungi.


Polysaccharides are important bioactive compounds found in medicinal fungi. They are used as biochemically active compounds for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical administration, having positive effects such as immune regulation, to reverse or prevent radiation damage, anti-blood coagulation, as well as anti-cancer, anti-viral, and hypoglycemic activities. The fungi-derived polysaccharides lentinan, schizophyllan, and krestin have been accepted as immunoceuticals (drugs that boost the immune system) in Japan, Korea and China.
Besides polysaccharides, fungi contain phenols, heteropolysaccharides, glycogens, vitamins and triterpenes amongst other beneficial components.

Medicinal Mushroom Species

In Chaga mushroom, which is also known as Inonotus obliquus or Black Tree Fungus (more colloquially called cinder conk, birch conk, clinker polypore), polysaccharides are the most prominent active compounds. Chaga’s polysaccharides have a very strong antioxidant activity scavenging free radicals.

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Lion’s Mane is known for its neuroprotective and nootropic effects meaning that Lion’s Mane is used to improve memory and cognitive functions.

Reishi fungus contains polysaccharides, which can be most effectively isolated via sonication (e.g. using Hielscher Ultrasonics' UP400St).Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Ling Zhi / Lingzhi, Mannentake, Mushroom of Immortality) is a polypore fungus, which is easily recognized by its red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap. The Reishi fungus produces a group of triterpenes so-called ganoderic acids. Ganoderic acids exhibit a molecular structure which is similar to that of steroid hormones. Furthermore, other compounds found in Reishi include polysaccharides (e.g. beta-glucan), coumarin, mannitol, and alkaloids. Sterols isolated from the mushroom include ganoderol, ganoderenic acid, ganoderiol, ganodermanontriol, lucidadiol, and ganodermadiol. From a culinary perspective, Reishi is known for its bitter taste and it is often consumed in coffee beverages.

Shitake (Lentinula edodes; colloquially termed as Black Forest Tree Mushroom, Xiang Gu, Fragrant Mushroom) is widely used as ingredient in Asian dishes. When administered for health reasons, Shiitake boosts the immune system and results in a significant decrease of inflammation.

Coriolus versicolor (Trametes versicolor, Polyporus versicolor; colloquially called Turkey tail mushroom, Yun Zhi, Kawaratake) contains polysaccharides PSK, PSP, and Kresin as well as B-1,3 and B-1,4 glucans. The polysaccharides are used to improve immune function in patients with certain cancers when used along with chemotherapy. In traditional Chinese medicine, Turkey Tail is used as a tonic.

Cordyceps sinensis (Ophiocordyceps sinensis; also known as Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, Dong Chong Xia Cao, yartsa gunbu) is another fungi with exceptional antioxidative properties. Cordyceps contains strong antioxidants that neutralize harmful free radicals and enhances the activity of the body’s innate antioxidant system, too.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa; Cloud mushroom, Hui Shu Hua, Hen-of-the-wood, ram’s head, sheep’s head) is a polypore fungus which has been shown to stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system. Research found that Maitake stimulates the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Furthermore, it shows blood sugar lowering effects since the fungus contains an alpha glucosidase inhibitor.

Agaricus subrufescens (also known under the terms of Agaricus blazei, Agaricus brasiliensis, Agaricus rufotegulis; colloquially almond mushroom, mushroom of the sun, God’s mushroom, mushroom of life, royal sun agaricus, jisongrong, or himematsutake) is an edible mushroom, which is characterized by its sweet taste and fragrance of almonds. The Agaricus mushroom is a popular medicinal fungus, mostly used for its immune system boosting effects.

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