Myzel Organics grows functional mushrooms in a GMP-grade production facility located in Ontario, Canada. 

Why? To guarantee the quality and the safety of where functional mushrooms are grown. 

Functional mushrooms grow in many settings. Some farms produce functional mushrooms on organic matter –  like logs, wood chips, sawdust, or even soil mixed with coconut coir. Based on the ‘where are functional mushrooms grown’, the final product differs. Myzel chooses to grow on sorghum so we can provide full-spectrum mushroom powders.

Grown in Pharmaceutical-Grade Conditions

When I tell people I’m working at a functional mushroom company, they immediately launch into questions about the farm. 

What’s the facility look like? Who provides the manure we use as the growth medium? Does the facility stink? How do we get the manure out of the mycelium before we make it into powder? 

Easy: we avoid manure and soil altogether.

Functional Mushrooms Grown in a Controlled Setting

At Myzel, we grow our mushrooms in a highly-controlled, sterile environment. 

While functional mushrooms are generally regarded as safe, we want to be sure that all our products are entirely risk-free. We do this by eliminating any uncertainty about the quality of the growing conditions and by avoiding traditional mushroom substrates.

Myzel: where are functional mushrooms grown? In a sterile facility

Sorghum in grow bags at Myzel facility

All the functional mushrooms produced by Myzel Organics grow in a facility designed to comply with the most stringent food safety and pharmaceutical standards. We jokingly say we comply with ‘a bunch of acronyms’, because the standards we use for production range from GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) to HACCP(Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) to GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). 

These standards ensure that whatever materials we use, wherever we acquire them from, is carefully vetted for safety and quality. We carefully select all the products used in the process, from what we grow cultures on in the lab to how we cultivate each of our mushrooms in bulk.

We don’t just take a strict approach to quality control, we also make purchasing and production decisions based on sustainability concerns and dietary requirements. Myzel Organics is proudly Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. To comply with these standards, we must continually demonstrate that all our products – throughout the entire lifecycle – are organic, without genetic modification, and do no harm.

 

Growing on Sorghum: A Cleaner Alternative

Myzel chooses to grow our mushrooms on Sorghum. Sorghum is a nutrient-rich ancient grain grown across North America.

Where are functional mushrooms grown? On sorghum!

Sorghum crop; 2022

As an added bonus, sorghum requires less water than other crops and helps regenerate soil health. This was a big contributing factor to choosing sorghum as a substrate.

Once we take delivery of the sorghum from a US-based organic farmer, we store it in a temperature and humidity controlled facility. When we’re ready for production, the sorghum is sterilized in one of our autoclaves and placed in recyclable grow bags. Each bag creates a sterile growing environment for up to 5-kg of mycelial and fruiting body growth. 

Nothing else is added to the growing environment. Just sorghum to nourish the mycelial and mushroom growth. 

How Does This Differ From a ‘Traditional’ Mushroom Farm?

While there’s many overlaps between how mushrooms grow in Myzel’s sterile environment and how they grow in a traditional mushroom farm, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. 

Traditional mushroom farms grow mushrooms on organic compost, which must be washed off the mushrooms prior to sale to prevent contaminants like E. coli from entering the food system. 

Mushrooms grown in a sterile environment are clean and ready for milling as soon as they mature. 

where are functional mushrooms grown? Myzel facility vs traditional mushroom farm

Subtle Acts Contribute to a Sterile Setting

Small, yet important actions, play a big part in complying with our strict quality controls.

These controls took a lot of time and patience to perfect, but once they are part of daily operating procedures, they become second nature to the team.

Whenever working with the grow bags, the Myzel team suits up in personal protective equipment (PPE). We also make use of airlocks and high output HEPA filters to ensure no contaminants enter our grow bags or even the grow rooms.

Surface and equipment sterilization is frequent and thorough throughout the entire facility. Since the conditions in the lab determine the success of our operation, we take even more precautions when inoculating the grains bags.

We only ever open our grow bags for inoculation while under this flow hood (and while our team is suited in PPE). That way, we can control what the grow bags are exposed to.

After inoculation, each grow bag is heat sealed to ensure nothing exits or enters the bag.

Where are functional mushrooms grown? Myzel grow room

Uniformity is Key to Functional Mushroom Growth

Once inoculated, we move the grow bags to a dedicated room. Over a few weeks, the the team closely monitors the progress. Once the mycelium consumes the bulk of the sorghum we’re ready to dry, mill and package the mushrooms.

Why Not Grow Functional Mushrooms in a Wild Environment?

Mushrooms require specific conditions for growth. Many of the 15 varieties of mushrooms we grow at Myzel require special attention and care. Some are harder to grow in humid conditions, others love moisture and heat. Ideal growing conditions varying from species-to-species.  

Cultivating functional mushrooms in grow bags ensures we can provide the optimal conditions for each and every species. 

Since demand for functional mushrooms grew vastly since 2020, we strive to play a role in building a sustainable and safe market for the most in-demand functional mushroom species. 

The sheer demand for mushrooms threatens mushroom populations in the wild, and safety of wild mushrooms varies depending on where they are growing. For instance, Chaga growing in a forest next to a large highway is more likely to contain higher levels of heavy metals and fuel-based contaminants.

If we grew our mushrooms outdoors in logs or compost-based substrates, we also couldn’t provide the full-spectrum products we’re devoted to. Growing on organic matter outside means only the cap and stem (aka fruiting body) can be harvested. Growing on a substrate that ferments as the mycelium grows allows Myzel to include both the fruiting bodies and the myceliated biomass in our finished mushroom powders. Research shows that myceliated products offer a range of benefits that the fruiting body alone can not offer.

When deciding what and how to cultivate our functional mushrooms, the team at Myzel considered many options. We took the steps to ensure that our mushrooms are always safe for human consumption, of the highest possible quality, and cultivated in an environmentally friendly, sustainable fashion.

Mushrooms Grown Where Quality is Guaranteed

Myzel sends all our products for third party testing prior to shipping out to our buyers. 

Third party testing provides us with a Certificate of Analysis (COA), which clearly communicates the quality and purity of Myzel’s mushrooms. Each batch is tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants. Our third party lab also runs nutritional analyses on our products so that we can provide detailed information about the benefits of our mushrooms. 

Functional Mushrooms Grown Certified Organic and Non-GMO

As part of our commitment to quality, we undertook months of careful planning to ensure all our products and procedures adhere to Canada Organic, USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Vegan standards. 

That means all of our ingredients, cleaning products, and even bait traps meet organic guidelines for humane production. 

Since we grow indoors, inside sealed bags, concerns about environmental contamination are alleviated. Yet, you can never be too careful; we are continually monitoring conditions and inputs to guarantee our products are not genetically modified, interact with the environment in a humane way, and are entirely organic. 

Myzel is certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan

Functional Mushrooms Grown for Nutraceutical Use

Where are functional mushrooms grown? Myzel Organics cultivates our mushrooms exclusively in Canada in an Organic, GMP-grade production facility. We made these commitments when planning our operation to ensure that our myceliated products are consistently safe, consistently pure, and consistently produce the highest quality mushroom powders available in Canada.