All clear for gourmets: truffles not radioactive

Büntgen U, Jäggi M, Stobbe U, Tegel W, Sproll L, Eikenberg J, Egli S (2015) Ideas and perspectives: truffles not radioactive. Biogeosciences Discussion 12: 17851-17856

Abstract. Although ranging among the most expensive gourmet foods, it remains unclear if Burgundy truffles (Tuber aestivum) accumulate radioactivity at a harmful level comparable to other fungi. Here, we measure the 137Cs in 82 T. aestivum fruitbodies from Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Hungary. All specimens reveal insignificant radiocaesium concentrations, thus providing an all clear for truffle hunters and cultivators in Europe as well as dealers and customers from around the world. Our results are particularly relevant in the light of recent cultivation efforts and the fact that forest ecosystems are still highly contaminated with 137Cs, for which mushrooms are the main pathways to human diets.

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