High in naturally occurring antioxidants and health-boosting vitamins and minerals, mushroom superfood products abound in the wellness marketplace, but how can one be sure of a product’s quality? Learn which certifications and standards make a superfood mushroom product authentic and how you can be sure a brand is being transparent about their practices. From meeting cGMP requirements (Good Manufacturing Practices) to consisting of whole foods versus extracts, read on to see how you can identify a high-quality product by product descriptions on their label or website.
How Are the Mushrooms Grown?
Finding out where and how your mushroom product is grown is crucial in determining its overall quality. Who are the growers? Do they work in sanitary facilities? These are simple clues in finding out if the product you’re consuming is safe and effective. All Om mushrooms are grown by an expert mycology team with a combined experience of more than 100 years of growing mushrooms. Functional mushrooms are grown and packaged in an indoor, state-of-the-art, FDA-approved, certified GMP, certified organic, and certified Kosher facility in Carlsbad, California in which cleanliness, food safety and quality are never compromised. The FDA ensures the quality of Om mushroom products by carefully monitoring the company’s compliance with its Good Manufacturing Practices. To be GMP certified means that a manufacturer has demonstrated a strong regulatory commitment and compliance to GMP standards. In meeting certified GMP requirements, the mushrooms are verified in compliance with the US Food and Drug Administration’s regulations as safe to use and with the assurance that they contain the ingredients and strength declared on product documentation, including the product label.
How Are They Processed?
Ensure the mushroom superfood product you use is minimally processed to carefully retain nutritional integrity. Om Mushrooms are verified by the Non-GMO Project and carefully dehydrated at low temperatures using filtered air, controlled temperature, moisture and lighting to maintain a full spectrum of naturally occurring nutrients. As beta glucan foods with a range of polysaccharides, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes that support immune function, it is important that the mushrooms remain intact as whole foods to offer their fullest nutritional and medicinal value to consumers.
What’s the Difference Between Whole Food Mushrooms and Extracts?
When an extraction process is used to create a superfood product, important nutrients could be lost in the process. Om Mushrooms are whole food mushrooms containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring nutrients produced by each species. Without using an extraction process, growers are able to retain important bioactive compounds and nutrients within each mushroom.
Are the Mushrooms Organic and Gluten-Free?
For consumers who are sensitive to gluten or wish to only include organic products in their diets, Om Mushrooms are a solid choice. In addition to being grown on 100% organic, non-GMO gluten free whole oats, all products are guaranteed gluten-free foods. Every delivery of oats—a safe and nutritious growing environment for mushrooms—includes a Certificate of Compliance. And all finished products are tested to ensure they meet the current FDA guidelines for gluten-free product labeling.
Mushrooms have been used in Eastern cultures for thousands of years and it’s important that suppliers know how to thoughtfully merge ancient wisdom with modern methodology when creating new products. The founders of Om Mushrooms know that whole food functional mushrooms have wide-ranging benefits in a person’s everyday life, and they also know that today’s consumer craves convenience, even when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is why Om Mushroom products are available in single species as well as curated mushroom blends in a variety of powders, capsules, and hot and cold drink mixes, including savory broths. Whether you’re looking for immune support, gut health, energy, cognitive health or shinier hair and glowing skin, Om has a product to match your needs.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.