Podcast: The Medicinal Mushroom Boom with Bill Chioffi of Nammex

Podcast: The Medicinal Mushroom Boom with Bill Chioffi of Nammex

A fast-growing market demands attention to terms, conditions, and standardized methods of analysis.

By Sean Moloughney, Editor06.15.23
Mushrooms seem to be everywhere, and in everything. Reishi, Shitake, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Chaga, and others are all finding their way into dietary supplements and other nutritional products.

The closer you look at the Kingdom of Fungi, which is separate from plants, the more fascinating it seems to become.

To better understand the complexities of medicinal mushrooms, where this market is headed, and where it needs to go, I talked with Bill Chioffi, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Nammex, which supplies organic certified mushroom extracts.

Bill has worked in the Natural Products Community since 1994 including with Gaia Herbs and the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research at Sonoran University of Health Sciences.

If you have questions or feedback send us a note at

Suggested Reading: A Kingdom of Their Own: Fungi Shine While Mushrooms Emerge as Market Stars

Questions and Topics Covered:

1:00 — Consumer interest in mushrooms has really exploded in the last few years or so. We see them in everything from traditional supplement capsules, to all sorts of food and beverage formulations, and on restaurant menus. What’s your sense of why this market seems to have gotten so hot so quickly?

2:49 — I’d appreciate your help in understanding some terms. First, what are the defining characteristics of a mushroom? Understanding they live within the Kingdom of Fungi, what makes a mushroom a mushroom as opposed to some other type of fungus?

7:53 — Are there other parts or terms associated with mushrooms that warrant attention or clarification? I also want to talk about substrates.

11:42 — From a regulatory and labeling standpoint, should myceliated grain be distinguished from a mushroom extract from a fruiting body? Are they different products?

14:36 — NAMMEX (North American Medicinal Mushroom Extracts) has been growing mushrooms for more than 45 years. The founder Jeff Chilton has been studying them even longer than that. NAMMEX extracts are made from certified organic mushrooms, grown naturally on substrate materials native to each particular mushroom. Can you explain your cultivation and processing methods and how this compares to what else is available on the market today?

19:30 — You’ve noted a clear need for more standardization. Can you explain the quality control standards and testing protocols NAMMEX has in place?

24:47 — Who should be involved in the process for developing official methods of analysis and what should that effort look like? 

26:35 — There are so many different varieties of mushrooms all with their own history of use and potential health benefits. Where do you see the most runway for innovation? 

29:44 — What’s the most fascinating species you’ve encountered? 
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