Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 13, 1145-1147, 2016
http://www.biogeosciences.net/13/1145/2016/
doi:10.5194/bg-13-1145-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ideas and perspectives
25 Feb 2016
All-clear for gourmets: truffles not radioactive
U. Büntgen1,2,3, M. Jäggi4, U. Stobbe5, W. Tegel6, L. Sproll5, J. Eikenberg4, and S. Egli1 1Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research OCCR, Bern, Switzerland
3Global Change Research Centre AS CR, Brno, Czech Republic
4Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Villigen, Switzerland
5Deutsche Trüffelbäume, Radolfzell, Germany
6Institute of Forest Sciences IWW, Freiburg University, Freiburg, Germany
Abstract. Although ranging among the most expensive gourmet foods, it remains unclear whether Burgundy truffles (Tuber aestivum) accumulate radioactivity at a harmful level comparable to other fungal species. Here, we measure the 137Cs in 82 T. aestivum fruit bodies from Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, and Hungary. All tested specimens reveal insignificant radiocaesium concentrations, thus providing an all-clear for many truffle hunters and cultivators in large parts of Europe as well as the subsequent chain of dealers and customers from around the world. Our results are particularly relevant in the light of ongoing efforts to cultivate Burgundy truffles, as well as the fact that several forest ecosystems are still highly contaminated with 137Cs, for which mushrooms are one of the main pathways to human diets.

Citation: Büntgen, U., Jäggi, M., Stobbe, U., Tegel, W., Sproll, L., Eikenberg, J., and Egli, S.: All-clear for gourmets: truffles not radioactive, Biogeosciences, 13, 1145-1147, doi:10.5194/bg-13-1145-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
Although ranging among the most expensive gourmet foods, it remains unclear whether truffles accumulate radioactivity at a harmful level comparable to other fungi. Insignificant radiocaesium concentrations in specimens from Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, and Hungary provide an all-clear for truffle hunters and cultivators in Europe as well as dealers and customers from around the world.
Although ranging among the most expensive gourmet foods, it remains unclear whether truffles...
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