Enhancing the Nutrient Content of Caterpillar Fungus Through Fermentation

Jim Crocker
14th May, 2024

Enhancing the Nutrient Content of Caterpillar Fungus Through Fermentation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Jiangsu Ocean University enhanced Cordyceps' medicinal quality by optimizing fermentation
  • The optimized process increased nucleotide production by 10.6 times, improving Cordyceps' quality
  • The fermented product showed strong antioxidant properties and could inhibit an enzyme linked to neurodegenerative diseases
Recent research from Jiangsu Ocean University has delved into the potential of a mixed fermentation process involving Schisandra chinensis and Cordyceps tenuipes. This study[1] has not only optimized the conditions for nucleotide synthesis—a key quality indicator for Cordyceps—but also discovered that the fermentation products have significant antioxidant activity and the ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA, play a crucial role in various biological processes. In the context of Cordyceps, a valued traditional medicine, nucleotides are essential for assessing its quality. The study's findings are significant because they offer a way to enhance the medicinal properties of Cordyceps through fermentation, potentially leading to more effective natural therapeutic agents. The researchers identified several factors that significantly affect nucleotide production: the presence of S. chinensis, yeast extract, inoculum amount, and the pH level of the environment. After systematic experimentation, they established optimal conditions for fermentation, including specific temperature, pH, and nutrient concentrations. As a result, the yield of total nucleotides increased by 10.6 times compared to pre-optimization levels. Notably, the aqueous extract resulting from this optimized fermentation process, referred to as S-ZAE, demonstrated potent antioxidant properties and the ability to inhibit AChE. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, while AChE inhibitors are used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders. The study's findings on the antioxidant capabilities of S-ZAE echo previous research on Cordyceps militaris, which showed protective effects against oxidative stress in human cells[2]. Similarly, the anti-AChE activity of S-ZAE aligns with the immunomodulatory properties observed in Paecilomyces sinensis polysaccharides[3], suggesting that these fermentation products could support the immune system and neurological health. Moreover, the research builds on the understanding of Schisandra chinensis, which has been traditionally used to treat various ailments and has shown therapeutic potential in benign prostate hyperplasia[4]. The study demonstrated that S. chinensis contributes to the relaxation effect on human prostate tissue, and its combination with Cordyceps in the fermentation process may amplify its health benefits. The economic potential of such findings is considerable. Halophytes like Salicornia spp. have been recognized for their valuable secondary compounds used in pharmacognosy and nutraceuticals[5]. The study at Jiangsu Ocean University suggests that the mixed fermentation of S. chinensis and Cordyceps tenuipes could produce compounds with similar potential for industrial applications, functional foods, and natural medicine. In conclusion, the research presents a promising advancement in the fermentation of traditional medicinal plants. By optimizing the production of nucleotides and uncovering the antioxidant and anti-AChE activities of S-ZAE, this study paves the way for the development of functional foods and natural therapeutic agents. The potential for industrialization of this fermentation method could have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, offering a natural alternative to synthetic drugs.



Main Study

1) Improvement of nucleotide content of Cordyceps tenuipes by Schisandra chinensis: fermentation process optimization and application prospects.

Published 13th May, 2024

Journal: Archives of microbiology

Issue: Vol 206, Issue 6, May 2024

Related Studies

2) Protective effect of Cordyceps militaris against high glucose-induced oxidative stress in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.


3) Studies of macrophage immuno-modulating activity of polysaccharides isolated from Paecilomyces tenuipes.


4) Effects of Schisandra chinensis extract on the relaxation of isolated human prostate tissue and smooth muscle cell.


5) An economic point of view of secondary compounds in halophytes.


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