Pulsed Light & Mushrooms: Growing Possibilities

by | May 4, 2022

It’s been more than a year since we featured mushrooms and Pulsed Light in this space, and it’s time to do an update because a lot has been happening.

First, some background for those who are new to the subject. Mushrooms are one of the richest sources of Vitamin D available in nature. Vitamin D is essential for our health, helping us to maintain strong bones and muscle and playing a crucial role in our immune systems, even reducing the risk of many diseases.

There’s just one catch: mushrooms need UV light to produce Vitamin D. When they’re grown outdoors, they receive this energy naturally. Mushrooms grown indoors do not. Except, that is, for indoor mushrooms that are exposed to Pulsed Light after harvesting.

Amazingly, just a brief exposure of high-energy Pulsed Light increases Vitamin D content of indoor mushrooms to a higher level than those grown outdoors. In fact, mushrooms treated with Pulsed Light can provide 100% of a person’s daily requirement. Pulsed Light can also be used to treat mushroom powder with similar results.

Note that Pulsed Light should not be confused with continuous UV light, which can also be used for indoor-grown mushrooms but only with much longer exposure times. Pulsed Light works in seconds, so it can support much higher production volumes.

A game-changer for indoor-grown mushrooms

This is good news for indoor growers, as well as for the companies and stores that sell mushrooms and powder. The industry is booming—largely because of health awareness and the COVID pandemic. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global mushroom market is projected to grow from 15.25 million tons in 2021 to 24 million tons by 2028.

Anywhere in this chain, from grower to distributor to seller, mushrooms exposed to Pulsed Light gain high levels of Vitamin D. It even works on mushrooms that have been frozen. This means that if you grow or sell indoor mushrooms, you can use Pulsed Light to compete in a health-conscious world and claim your share of this fast-growing market.

The food industry is taking notice, too. An international food producer uses Pulsed Light and the Vitamin D content is featured on their packaging. More companies are following suit, and new Pulsed Light products are making it easier than ever to get in the game.

A ready-to-run Pulsed Light solution

XENON’s CIXL – Compact Integrated Xenon Lamp

To help drive opportunities like this, XENON recently introduced a self-contained, ready-to-run system called CIXL that can be easily introduced into many different processes. CIXL provides everything needed to boost Vitamin D in indoor-grown mushrooms, and it’s already finding success. Although CIXL was introduced just a few months ago, at least one company has tested it for their mushroom products and will be starting full-scale production soon.

Like all XENON Pulsed Light products, the CIXL does not involve any chemicals or food additives. It simply exposes the mushrooms or powder to the full UV spectrum of light. The mushrooms do the rest! And Pulsed Light is approved for food enhancement applications by the FDA.

What does the future hold for mushrooms? Growing sales, increasing emphasis on health and nutrition, and—with the help of Pulsed Light—a booming business for those who grow, process, and sell indoor mushrooms.

We’ll keep you updated as this important application develops. Meanwhile, if you have an interest in mushrooms or other food enhancement applications, please contact XENON to learn how Pulsed Light can help your business grow.