As part of their ongoing “Wixon Innovates” trendspotting project, Wixon taste experts are digging into mushrooms, more specifically, adaptogenic mushrooms. 

This focus on fungi is rooted in the blossoming plant-based trend where consumers are turning to plant-based products as a healthy addition to their diets. And according to Innova Market Insights, one in two U.S. consumers report health as the reason for buying plant-based alternatives to bread, meat or dairy. 

“What we’re finding,” says Wixon Marketing Manager, Becca Henrickson, “is that as more consumers seek out plant-based alternatives to meat products and healthier food options, mushrooms can provide the desired texture and health halo they want. Mushrooms are widely known for their earthy and umami-rich flavor, but their popularity is fast-growing for their associated health benefits and meat-like texture, as well.” 

More than 10,000 known varieties of mushrooms exist, with thousands yet undiscovered. Consumer interest in better-for-you ingredients has moved adaptogenic mushrooms into the limelight. Among the thousands of mushroom varieties, there are a smaller number of adaptogenic mushrooms. To be identified as an adaptogenic substance, a mushroom must help the body adapt to stress and provide a normalizing effect on it. Most mushrooms identified as adaptogens are associated with immunity, cognitive health and stress relief. The following is a list of some of the most recognized adaptogenic mushrooms and their promoted health benefits.

•    Reishi - provides immunity, relieves stress and anxiety

•    Lion’s Mane - aids in memory and cognition

•    Chaga - antioxidant and supplies immunity

•    Shiitake - promotes immunity

•    Maitake - supplies immunity and healthy blood sugar level

•    Cordyceps - provides energy and stamina, improves endurance and lung function

•    Turkey Tail - supports immunity

Adaptogenic mushrooms like all mushrooms are very versatile. The flavors are generally mild, so as mushrooms are incorporated into different foods and beverages their natural flavors can be amplified or kept in the background, but either way retaining their healthfulness.

“Looking at these adaptogenic mushrooms from a culinary perspective allowed us to really discover their possibilities,” explains Wixon Corporate Chef Ryan Kukuruzovic. “We were able to use the expected earthy, umami-rich flavors in a range of savory applications from meatballs to pizza crusts and even savory oatmeal. But what’s really fascinating is accentuating some of the naturally sweet notes of the mushrooms in ice cream, beverages and cookies. With our flavor masking expertise and technology, we’re able to maximize desirable flavors and minimize or eliminate unwanted ones to create fantastic tasting products with better-for-you benefits in myriad applications with these mushrooms.” 

Several food and beverage applications using adaptogenic mushrooms were developed as part of this Wixon Innovates initiative. For more information on these concepts and to tap into Wixon’s expertise for custom taste solutions, contact Wixon at

Wixon Innovates 

Research-driven trend identification unites imagination and science in Wixon innovation. Our constant state of creation leads to value-driven custom taste solutions for food and beverages. For more information on the latest flavor trends influencing today’s food culture, visit

About Wixon Inc.

As a trusted manufacturer of dry and liquid custom taste solutions since 1907, Wixon provides seasoning blends, flavors, and flavor technologies to food and beverage companies across all retail and foodservice channels. Wixon also offers consumer packaging options for companies seeking turnkey solutions for dry mix food, beverage and nutrition products.  Combining creative taste capabilities and solutions with a passion for service, Wixon drives innovation and differentiation for its customers. Located in St. Francis, Wis., Wixon is certified FSSC 22000, a Food Safety System certification fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).  

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