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    Host Defense Information

    Why Freeze-Dry?

    Why Freeze-Dry?

    Host Defense® utilizes freeze-drying to ensure we produce the highest quality product with the most optimal nutrition possible.* What is freeze-drying, though, and why does it matter?

    Our Research & Development Director, Renee Davis, is here to answer your questions!

    Why does Host Defense® utilize freeze-drying? 
    Host Defense utilizes freeze-drying to preserve the nutritional content of mycelium in the final product. Freeze-drying uses minimal heat to remove water to create a shelf stable product. Vitamins are heat sensitive and will degrade at higher temperatures. This applies to both water and fat-soluble vitamins, particularly Vitamins A, B, C and D. Phenolic compounds are also susceptible to temperature degradation. In order to create a shelf-stable product while preserving the maximum amount of nutrients found in fungi, we use freeze-drying.

    What is the Host Defense® freeze-drying process? 
    We begin processing once the mycelium is finished growing and digesting its substrate. The mycelium is first frozen, then sent off to our organic freeze-drying contractor. The freeze-drying process begins there. 

    The mycelium is then exposed to another freeze cycle. Then, it’s mildly heated in a vacuum to remove the water in a process called sublimation, where molecules travel directly from a solid to gas phase, bypassing the intermediary liquid stage. This material is milled to a fine powder and encapsulated to make the final product.

    What does freeze-drying offer that other drying methods don't?
    The differentiating element of freeze-drying is the use of sublimation, particularly the minimal heat and assistance of a vacuum to remove water particles. Current research supports the use of freeze-drying for mushroom preservation. Several research groups have found improved antioxidant activity, polysaccharide profiles, as well as preserved color and structural integrity in mushrooms compared to other drying methods such as air-drying.*  

    How does freeze-drying preserve nutrients & other complex compounds lost via other drying methods? 
    Freeze-drying preserves nutrients more than air-drying because the material is exposed to less heat during processing. Heat and oxidation are the major drivers of vitamin degradation. When exposure to these 2 elements are limited, the nutrient profile in the final product is more favorable.

    Why should freeze-drying matter to the consumer? 
    Consumers should be aware of how their supplements are processed, and what the potential impacts are for the final nutrient profile. Not all drying methods are created equal! We know that mushrooms and mycelium are important functional foods and contain a range of vitamins as well as key phenolic compounds that confer important antioxidant properties.* For a quality product, we want to utilize drying methods that can best preserve what the fresh material offers. Nature is the best chemist, and we want to conserve the optimal nutrient profile until our product reaches our customer.

    September is National Mushroom Month & National Honey Month

    September is National Mushroom Month & National Honey Month
    Happy National Mushroom Month & National Honey Month from Host Defense®! With these two celebrations in full swing throughout September, it’s the perfect time to highlight the synergistic relationship between two of our favorite things: mushrooms and bees. 

    Read more

    Paul Stamets' Signature Smoothie Recipe

    Paul Stamets' Signature Smoothie Recipe

    How does Fungi Perfecti® founder and Host Defense® formulator, Paul Stamets, incorporate our mushroom mycelium powders into his daily routine? A smoothie!

    His recipe is a mixture of healthy fats, antioxidants, and a whole lot of Lion’s Mane. Read below to learn how to blend up your own smoothie, or watch the video to learn directly from Paul!

    Paul’s Signature Smoothie Recipe

    Yield: 1 serving

    Prep Time: 5 minutes 



    1. Drop ingredients into a blender.
    2. Blend until smooth.
    3. Enjoy!

    Meet Loni

    Meet Loni

    Meet the people behind-the-scenes of Host Defense®! 

    We're real people, keeping it real.  

    Loni Jean Ronnebaum aka Ronnebaumanita loniscaria

    Position & Years with Fungi Perfecti®
    Fungi Perfecti Retail Office Manager, 9 years 

    Best Thing About the Job
    Fulfilling our shared Mission: To explore, study, preserve and spread knowledge about the use of fungi for helping people and planet.

    Favorite Host Defense® Supplements
    Lion's ManeMyCommunity, and Peppermint MycoShield®

    Four Ways to Describe Yourself

    1. #googlyeyedfungi photographer
    2. Plays solo ukulele as well as drums for the band Inoculated Minds- featuring Fungi Perfecti grow room manager, Justin T!
    3. Evergreen State College Alumni 09', BS in Mycology and Natural Sciences
    4. Educational speaker and all around fun-gal!

    Gina's Sweet & Spicy Carrot Cake Smoothie

    Gina's Sweet & Spicy Carrot Cake Smoothie

    New Host Defense® MycoBotanicals® Brain & Body™ powder provides this morning treat with just the right amount of spice while supporting heart health and mental acuity.* This recipe comes courtesy of Host Defense National Science Educator, Gina Rivers-Contla.   


    6 to 8 ounces unsweetened milk of your choice (we like oat!)

    1/3 of an apple

    ½ cup of pineapple chunks

    ¾ cup shredded carrot

    1 tsp MycoBotanicals® Brain and Body™ powder

    ¼ cup almond butter (optional)

    ½ cup ice cubes (optional, but adds a thicker consistency)


    1. Add ice cubes and milk to blender and pulse.
    2. Toss in fruits, vegetables, and powder. Pulse to pulverize fruits.
    3. Pour into a large chilled glass and enjoy! 


    *This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.