Polysaccharides and beta-glucanes
Beta-glucanes belong to the group of polysaccharides and are, like mentioned above, built into the cell matrix. From this they are eluted through aqueous extraction.
The concentration of mushroom-extracts is usually expressed in percentages, because polysaccharides, contrary to beta-glucanes, can be easily analyzed. Unfortunately, there are very cheap sources of polysaccharides, as for example maize starch. Therefore mushroom-extracts con be fraudulently elongated with starch.
Mushroom polysaccharides contain water-soluble and water-insoluble beta-glucanes. If fungus raw materials are enzymatic extracted (instead of hot water!), then the water-soluble as well as the water-insoluble beta-glucanes are eluted from the cell matrix. Such an extract is only useful to a certain degree, because the water-insoluble beta-glucanes are physiologically useless – they are pure fibers!
A simple test enables you to find out for yourself at home, if you have bought an extract which only contains water-soluble beta-glucanes (how it should be!). Take a glass of hot water, add some mushroom-extract and stir extensively. An insoluble sediment shows you the proportion of water-insoluble beta-glucanes.
An extract of good quality will disperse completely.