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Screening truffles for radioactivity 30 years from Chernobyl

Miro is a trained truffle dog that belongs to Simon Egli, a co-author of the Biogeosciences paper based at Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL. He’s pictured here with a Burgundy truffle he found in Switzerland. Credit: Simon Egli, WSL

by European Geosciences Union
Published 25 Feb 2016

Some forest mushrooms, such as wild porcini, can accumulate dangerous levels of radioactivity from the soils they grow in. But until now it was unclear if the same was true for truffles, fungi that range among the most expensive foods in the world. Swiss and German researchers have analysed Burgundy truffles collected in central Europe and found they contain only negligible amounts of radioactive caesium, being safe for consumption. The results are published today (25 February) in Biogeosciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

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