Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


High value fungi may offer new industry for NZ

High value fungi may offer new industry for NZ

1 September 2014 Scientists could open up new opportunities for the New Zealand forestry industry following recent research into the cultivation and commercialization of two edible fungi crops: saffron milk cap (Lactarius deliciosus) and Bianchetto truffle (Tuber borchii). Plant & Food Research’s Alexis Guerin and Hon. Associate Professor Wang Yun have been investigating the high-value delicacies on a farm in Lincoln with successful and tasty results.

“These crops could be the next innovative gourmet export food product for New Zealand” say Dr Guerin.

“Elsewhere in the world they are highly regarded for their potential health benefits and even support a dedicated truffle-tourism industry”.

In New Zealand, truffles retail for around $3,000/Kg, but Guerin is quick to point out that “you don’t need 1Kg to enjoy them, the flavour is powerful and sensational. A few grams per person is enough for some of the best recipes”.

While Périgord black truffles have been grown commercially in Europe since the early 1800s, it was not until the 1970s that their cultivation methods were improved by scientists. Similarly the cultivation of most other edible mycorrhizal mushrooms is still very much in its infancy.

The pairs research into saffron milk cap mushrooms provides another commercial opportunity.

“We harvested 85 kg of saffron milk cap in the 2014 season from January to May. The high yield was in part because of irrigation on some sites and very favorable conditions with warm temperatures and regular rainfall” says Guerin.

Both crops are the fruits of perennial fungi that live in symbiosis with trees. The fungi colonize roots and transform them into mycorrhizae (from Greek, ‘fungus-root’), real root organs resulting from the merger between plant and fungal tissues. The fungus supplies the tree with water and nutrients while the tree provides the fungus with soluble carbohydrates from photosynthesis.

The pair’s research, published in the international journal Mycorrhiza, also showed a symbiotic relationship between host pines, onset of fruiting, and mushroom yields; potentially improving the value of pine plantations by providing a secondary income and competitive control of the invasive and poisonous Amanita muscaria (fly agaric).

Yet while research to date has yielded promising results Guerin notes that for both crops more research is required to further develop the young edible mycorrhizal mushroom industry in New Zealand, particularly understanding the factors that affect yields and the postharvest storage, packaging, and shelf-life of the gourmet delicacies.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news