Boosting cordycepin production through plant-based oils for vegetarian consumption

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Watcharin Yuttavanichakul
Nipaporn Kanthong
Nuntaporn Pungsungvorn


Cordyceps fungi, including species such as Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris, are known for producing bioactive chemicals, notably cordycepin. Traditional cordyceps cultivation in Thailand relies on silkworm pupae as a substrate in solid-state fermentation, posing challenges in catering to vegetarian consumers. This study aimed to develop a solid-state fermentation process for cordyceps cultivation using vegetable oils, thus modifying the cereals medium and eliminating the need for silkworm pupae while enhancing bioactive chemical production and promoting cordyceps growth. The findings demonstrate that C. militaris can successfully grow and produce adenosine and cordycepin when the culture medium is modified with plant oils. Plant oils, including olive, soybean, peanut, palm, sesame, coconut, and sunflower oil, proved effective for cultivating C. militaris on PDA. Notably, adding a 3% mixture of palm oil in PDA resulted in the most significant promotion of C. militaris mycelium, with a diameter of 5.93 cm. Consequently, the modified cereals medium, incorporating palm oil, was adopted for solid-state fermentation of C. militaris. The results demonstrate that C. militaris can be successfully cultured to produce fruiting bodies comparable and total yields to those obtained using traditional cereals and silkworm pupa medium. Furthermore, there is a notable increase in adenosine and cordycepin production, indicating the potential of this method to enhance C. militaris yield and bioactive chemical output. This research highlights the feasibility of incorporating plant oils as substitutes or additives to silkworm pupae, improving productivity and enabling the production of C. militaris suitable for vegetarian consumption.

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Yuttavanichakul W, Kanthong N, Pungsungvorn N. Boosting cordycepin production through plant-based oils for vegetarian consumption. J Appl Res Sci Tech [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 23 [cited 2024 Jun. 24];22(3):254104. Available from:
Research Articles


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