Sector News

World of functional mushrooms: Estonia to open Shroomwell Biotech research facility

September 25, 2022
Food & Drink

The first research facility of its kind to be opened in Estonia, will focus on the study of functional mushrooms with an eye toward increasing knowledge and understanding, as well as establishing the country as a global leader in the mushroom space.

“Today’s scientific world’s interest in mushrooms is enormous, and related research has grown at a significant pace,” says Silver Laus, CEO of Chaga OÜ. “The opening of the new research and competence center is the next stage of Chaga OÜ’s strategic plan to increase the science-based approach to the world of mushrooms.”

“Estonia’s first research and competence center focused on gourmet and medicinal mushrooms increases the already good level of mushroom research capacity in Estonia in bringing outstanding Estonian researchers and development work to the world,” explains Siim Raadik, head of Shroomwell Biotech.

“Mushrooms could make Estonia a new Skype for health and forestry,” he says.
The company, which is mainly known for its Chaga Health brand products, will launch a functional and gourmet mushroom brand called Shroomwell in the first half of 2023.

Expanding Estonia’s mushroom market
The company already grows the medicinal chaga mushroom on hundreds of hectares which the company states makes them the largest grower of outdoor mushrooms. By the end of the year, the company intends to open Shroomwell Biotech’s 1,200 square meter indoor cultivation area as well. Raadik stresses that this will “consolidate our position as the largest grower of medicinal mushrooms in the region.”

Chaga mushrooms, the company’s main product and namesake, has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent inflammation and improve overall mood.

“Estonia has great potential of becoming a global leader and trendsetter in the field of mushrooms,” Laus underscores. “By combining science, technological capabilities and world-class competence, Estonia has great potential to lead the development and success story of the field of mushrooms.”

“As a company, we are witnessing a significant increase in global interest in mushrooms as a quality raw material,” he explains. “Due to its image of a clean environment, Estonia has a strong competitive advantage over other countries.”

“Transparency in production,” is a trait Innova Market Insights reported as a leading marketing trend in 2021. It also recently reported on the growing popularity of mushroom-enriched supplements.

Focus on function
Raadik states the initial goal of the research center will be to deepen the understanding of mushrooms and increase awareness of their benefits. According to the company, this coincides with its goal of making mushroom farming environmentally friendly and sustainable. A goal the hold is evidenced by its establishment of several sustainable forest chaga plantations across Estonia.

“Our research and competence center creates all the prerequisites for starting and implementing large-scale research and pilot projects in a top-level laboratory.”

“Shroomwell Biotech’s interest is to find new ways to extend a person’s healthy life,” says Raadik. “Several well-known mushroom species can provide side income in the field of forestry and solve ecological problems related to the environment.”

“We are used to knowing that mushrooms are for eating, but this traditional approach and way of thinking is changing,” he concludes. “Today, we see the growing trend of clinical studies of mushrooms in traditional medicine.”

Edited by William Bradford Nichols


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