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.

End

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news