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Mushroom powder to boost immunity developed at Bodoland University

Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 14:45 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 09:17 [IST]

Mushroom powder to boost immunity developed at Bodoland University

This  writeup has been prepared  to initiate mushroom cultivation programme as a mode of livelihood among local communities of Sikkim. Prof. Sandeep Das (Dept. of Biotechnology) &Dean of Bodoland University, faculty of science and technology is the pioneer in this study. He is willing to establish such study in various parts of the country and ready to facilitate training for cultivation of basic mushroom , advanced mushroom and super mushrooms in vivo, in vitro and itscommercialization. The information provided here is experimentally established and shared by Prof. Sandeep Das.
A brief information about Mushroom (Cordyceps spp.) Super mushroom:
Mushrooms contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can have various health benefits and high nutritional value. Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that includes over 400 different species which are found all over the world which are mainly parasitic on insects and other arthropods and a few are parasitic on other fungi.
Benefits:
Cordyceps is used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, night-time urination, male sexual problems, anaemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, unwanted weight loss, and opium addiction. It is also used for strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance, reducing the effects of aging, promoting longer life, and improving liver function in people with hepatitis B. Of the more than 400 species of Cordyceps discovered, two have become the focus of health research: Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris. Natural cordyceps is hard to get and may be expensive which promoted for its cultivation at laboratories. Cordyceps is a super mushroom well known for its immuno-modulating effect, anti-aging, antiviral as well as energy booster effect and it is experimentally well established. This mushroom is as expensive as 8 lakhs rupees per kg dry weight but fortunately DBT-GoI Technology Incubation Centre on Mushroom, Bodoland University is in a capacity to grow this mushroom in laboratory conditions since 2017 in mass scale  and almost a pioneer in the field. Published scientific papers dissipates information about the efficacy of Cordycep against HINI and influenza virus.  Though the lab standardization and its related research got initiated in his lab. since 2012.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25037880/
Cultivation Duration and feasibility to cultivate in vivo and dependency on environmental conditions required:
It needs  60 days for a crop cycle. It requires specific photoperiod, enriched media and a encapsulated environment with all the parameters at optimum to mimic the natural habitat with optimum gaseous exchange. The mode of cultivation may be vegetative, egg & dead pupa, only egg and alive pupa (natural host).An average human can consume upto 0.5 to 3gm on dry weight basis. Though 150 mg Cordycep powder  is a decent amount to  initiate   feeding mass population regularly  for immediate immune boosting.
Mushroom commercialisation:
Since the mushroom is  full of medicinal virtues, there is a wide possibility of mass commercialization. Even the used substrate of the mushroom can also be commercialized. Depending on the level of Cordycepin, the international price varies. Also, the international price varies with the mode of production like vegetative, or egg and dead pupa or only egg or alive pupa. The price varies from few lakhs to 8 to 9 lakhs depending on the level of cordycepin.
How it will help:
Due to Covid 19 the local communities have been facing various issues in earning their livelihood as the collection of seeds and leaves was restricted. It eventually caused loss to those groups who are totally depending on the forest for their day to day lives.They may be able to earn better living with mushroom cultivation as it is easy to do so by providing some optimum condition. Also, there is no major requirement of specific environmental condition and can be grown with some specific efforts. It is not very difficult but can be proven as an efficient way to earn living with a minimum land requirement.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi