NutraCast: How M2 Ingredients keeps up with functional mushroom demand

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

NutraCast: How M2 Ingredients keeps up with functional mushroom demand

Related tags nutracast Unmetered Unmetered fungi mushrooms Sports nutrition immune support

As awareness builds around the different species, mushrooms are attracting attention for benefits outside of immune support.

M2 Ingredients, a vertically integrated player in organic functional mushrooms, recently closed a strategic growth investment round. The new funds will accelerate the distribution and marketing of its mushroom-based retail brand, Om Mushroom Superfood. 

To keep up with demand, the company built a new 155,000-square-foot growing facility in Vista, California, to open in Q1 2024, which will significantly increase growing capacity. M2 Ingredients said it operates the largest organic functional mushroom growing facility in North America, growing 10 species including lion's mane, chaga, reishi, turkey tail and cordyceps, as well as seven patented strains. 

Sandra Carter, founder and CEO of M2 Ingredients and Om Mushrooms Superfood, said that while mushrooms were once pigeonholed into the immune category, fungi are now having success outside of the cold season as consumer awareness builds around the different species. 

"Cordyceps is a mushroom that has research related to its cordycepin, and that's this bioactive compound that helps with availability of oxygen and therefore translates to increased aerobic metabolism, so a lot of research related to endurance," she said.

"So you know that is a mushroom that's completely different than lions mane, which has nootropic compounds, that have had application for cognitive health. So this is the very exciting part because we're really, I would say, at an emerging stage in terms of science and developing test methods, and so this is a great and exciting opportunity for the whole channel of mushroom growers and lovers to really invest in science and really help all of our awareness about the uniqueness of the different species.”

Carter added that people often view mushrooms as one product and for good reason. 

"All mushrooms have beta glucans, they have non-soluble fibers, they have antioxidants, so they all have different compounds that relate to immune health. However, the kingdom fungi is five times larger than the botanical kingdom, just to kind of put it in perspective. And so the lion's mane mushroom is as different from cordyceps as elderberry is from holy basil or nettle." 

Looking ahead, Carter said M2 will scale manufacturing via its new state-of-the-art growing facility and continue to invest in mycology and fermentation-based science. 

To hear more on the mushroom market and research, listen to the NutraCast.

If you enjoy listening to the NutraCast, feel free to leave a review. You can subscribe on iTunes​, Spotify​, Stitcher​ or wherever you get your podcasts. 


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