Mushroom scientists from around the world gathered in Nantong, China, from September 19th-23rd, 2019, at the most recent ISMM conference on medicinal mushrooms. Sessions were divided into multiple categories: Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Nutritional and Medicinal Values, Biodiversity and Ethnomycology, and Cultivation.
Jeff Chilton, founder of Nammex, elaborated upon his previous presentation at the International Society of Mushroom Science conference in Amsterdam in 2016. Beta-glucan testing remains the Nammex primary standard, accompanied by ergosterol and ergothioneine. Using these three markers plus alpha-glucans (starch), Jeff created a fingerprint that can be utilized for quality control of commercial mushroom products.
Ergothioneine, an important new antioxidant primarily found in fungi, is now being tested and quantified in all Nammex extracts, a milestone in this category.
Jeff also presented research by Dr. Barry McCleary, founder of Megazyme, who was unable to attend. Dr. McCleary’s paper detailed the Megazyme beta-glucan testing method and its clear advantage for mushroom testing. Using this method, not only beta-glucans but also alpha-glucans (starches) can be determined. This means that various starch adulterants can be unmasked, an ongoing issue for mushroom products.
S.T. Chang, Professor Emeritus, a founding member of the organization, and godfather of medicinal mushrooms, was in attendance and taught a one day seminar. Professor Chang has been committed to the development and promotion of edible and medicinal mushrooms for over 60 years. In 2015, in a keynote presentation to the first Chinese Reishi Conference, Dr. Chang quoted information and charts from Jeff’s White Paper, Redefining Medicinal Mushrooms.