To understand the difference between Ganoderma lucidum fruit body and mycelium, you must first know the growth process of Ganoderma lucidum:Spore → mycelium → fruiting body → release spores
Let's start with the fruiting body that appears to the naked eye. When the Ganoderma lucidum matures, the umbrella will turn outwards and eject the spores outward. Ganoderma lucidum spores that drift with the wind will begin to germinate once they fall into the environment-appropriate trees, and slowly grow a section of short hyphae that can only be seen under the microscope.
The increasingly growing hyphae gradually form a hard, flat and visible thing, called the "primordium" of Ganoderma lucidum. The fruiting body develops from this time, and as long as there are appropriate conditions (like temperature, humidity, etc.), there is a chance to grow Ganoderma lucidum.
It is clear from the growth process of Ganoderma lucidum that Ganoderma lucidum mycelium and Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body are both Ganoderma lucidum products, but the two are very different. The so-called mycelium is similar to the root of the plant; the so-called fruiting body is like Plant fruit.
Because Reishi Mushroom does not rely on vascular bundles to transport water and nutrients, it can only rely on mycelium to absorb nutrients. In fact, the volume relative to plants and roots is one to one, while the volume of Ganoderma lucidum fruit body and mycelium is one to ten. That is to say, it is roughly ten times the amount of mycelium to grow a ganoderma lucidum. This is one of the reasons why the fruiting bodies of the marketed Ganoderma lucidum products are several times more expensive than the mycelium.
In terms of cultivation, the mycelium can be planted in a deep medium (dissolving sugars and starches in water), and Ganoderma lucidum can be planted in it. It takes about 6 days to produce, and the whole process from preparation to harvest requires about 20 days.
In terms of raw material acquisition, the general manufacturer often separates the solid from the liquid, drys the solid by freezing or spraying, and then grinds it into a powder, which is the mycelial raw material. It claims that mycelial raw material contains the highest polysaccharide. In fact, such polysaccharides are the total polysaccharides of Ganoderma hyphae and the polysaccharides contained in the starch and other sugars in the culture solution (starch is also a polysaccharide without biological activity). Such total polysaccharides are not the same with pure Ganoderma lucidum macromolecule polysaccharides, because their molecular structure and molecular weight are quite different. The polysaccharides which are confirmed by medicine with the function to improve or regulate the body's immunity refer to the polysaccharides of Ganoderma lucidum.
The artificial cultivation of the Lingzhi fruiting body is based on wood chips and rice bran, and the growth time is about 100 days. It takes nearly one year from preparation to harvest.
Therefore, for mycelium and fruiting body, the cultivation methods are different, the time required is different, the cost of manpower and material resources is different, and the raw materials of the harvest are different; especially the growth and development of liquid fermentation and solid cultivation are different, and the metabolites are different. For example, the triterpenoids with medicinal values are almost non-existent in liquid culture.
The "Ganoderma lucidum" in the ancient book refers to the fruiting body. The fruiting body is a mushroom. The mycelium is a thing that provides nutrients for the growth of fruiting bodies. Which one do you choose? Although fruiting bodies and mycelium can come from one species, they are completely different in biology, just as "caterpillars are not butterflies" and "tadpole is not a frog". Whether it is ganoderma lucidum, mushrooms, straw mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, or any kind of mushroom on the table, humans have been eating fruiting bodies for thousands of years, not the mycelium in the space bag. The fruiting bodies are very different from the mycelium.
The quality of Ganoderma lucidum is determined by the "fruiting body"! In addition to the polysaccharides and immunomodulatory proteins, there are many secondary metabolites (such as triterpenoids, ganoderic acid, adenosine); the secondary metabolites of mycelium are much less, the active ingredients are mainly based on mycelium polysaccharides. Therefore, from the "type" of the active ingredient, the mycelium is inferior to the fruiting body. However, it is certain that the Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides that are truly scientifically proven are mainly derived from fruiting bodies, and the efficacy of mycelium polysaccharides is relatively uncertain. Moreover, in practice, in the clinical application, eating Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body products to assist anti-cancer usually has a certain effect, but the mycelium products are less effective to eat. It should be said that the quality of Ganoderma lucidum is determined by the "fruiting body.
The safety of fruiting bodies is higher. From the perspective of the classification of health foods, fruiting bodies have been eaten for more than 2,000 years and can be used directly as food in foreign countries. It is safe to eat fruiting bodies. Mycelium is only been found in recent years and has been pushed to the market for a very short time. Due to the possible contaminations of bacteria and toxin in the fermentation, mycelia need to experience toxicity test before being put to the market.
The cost of producing fruiting bodies is much higher than that of mycelium. Industrial fermentation production of mycelium has the advantages of low cost and high efficiency. It can take up to two to three weeks from inoculation to overgrown hyphae. Relatively speaking, the production of Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body is much more difficult: not only the growth period lasts for several months, but also the cost of the fruiting body medium is much higher than that of the cultured mycelium because the cost of the wood chip raw material is increasing year by year; to accomplish grow only one fruiting body in one space bag, it takes several acres. In contrast, the yield of an industrial fermentation tank of mycelium comes much easier. During the process of cultivating fruiting bodies, many conditions such as the humidity, temperature, ventilation, light must be adjusted manually and incest patrols are required in order to produce mushrooms smoothly.
Whatever the demand for manpower or electricity, the production of Ganoderma lucidum fruiting bodies is much higher than the production of mycelia by fermenters. The cost of planting a fruiting body is about ten times that of planting mycelia with the same weight, which is why the commercially available Ganoderma lucidum products are more expensive than the mycelium.