Bhubaneswar, July 14 (LocalWire): Researchers at Bodoland University who produced powdered immunity booster ‘super mushrooms’ opine that it could be a good alternative for forest dwellers and rural farmers of Odisha.
The research team from this Assam-based university has developed a mushroom powder to boost the immunity system.
A group of researchers in the university’s Department of Biotechnology termed it as a “super mushroom”.
The mushroom– Cordyceps Militaris is a rare parasitic mushroom known for its immuno-modulating effect, anti-aging, antiviral as well as energy booster virtues, said Professor Sandeep Das, Dean of BU’s faculty of Science and Technology.
“It can be a good livelihood alternative for the forest-dwellers and rural farmers of Odisha, he said adding that the progressive farmers and entrepreneurs of the state can carry out the venture successfully,” he said.
“Now, in the context of the outbreak of the pandemic when the importance of boosting immunity is felt everywhere, it is important to establish cultivation centres for this mushroom in various parts of the country and train people,” pointed out Das.
Dr Das said that natural cordyceps is hard to get and is as expensive as Rs 8 lakh per kg dry weight.
It prompted its cultivation in laboratories and the DBT-Union government Technology Incubation Centre in Mushroom.
The university is growing this mushroom in laboratory conditions since 2017 in mass scale.
The uniqueness of the institution was that it was the first to use the technology of freeze-drying, then converting it to powder and thus keeping the integrity of medicinal components of the mushroom intact while others use the method of oven-drying, pointed out Das, who leads the research team.
150 mg cordyceps powder is a decent amount to initiate feeding the mass population regularly for immediate immune boosting.
The lyophilized powder costs around Rs 120 per 150 mg and the university is trying to bring down the operational expenditure by encouraging commercial expansion of the Unit.
If mass-scale commercialisation is done, the price will drop by 50 per cent and more.
Systematic research needs to be done to scale up, he pointed out.
The team made small paper pouches – each containing 150 mg of the powder – and distributed it free to around 500 people belonging to nearby villages.
The dose ideally is once a week for making the system strong enough to resist viral attack.
The Department of Biotechnology is going to prepare proper capsules soon, he added further.