Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nicotine In ... Mushrooms?

Too Much Nicotine In Wild Mushrooms: EU Watchdog, Reuters, May 11, 2009
"High nicotine concentrations were found in wild mushrooms -- mainly porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis), but also truffles and chanterelles -- of various origins, although most of them came from China."
The European Food Safety Authority said it was unclear why nicotine, an alkaloid that occurs in tobacco, was showing up in mushrooms. They speculated, "it could be pesticide use."
"In European countries, the use of plant protection products containing nicotine as an insecticide will be phased out by the latest in June 2010, but its use in other countries may continue and may lead to residues of nicotine in food, the agency said."
I suppose this isn't something we can wash off?


Jim Donahue said...

And, of course, I've been making Mark Bittmann's mushroom-barley soup a lot lately.

Bix said...

Jim, what kind of mushrooms do you use?

Bix said...

Regarding some emails about amounts of nicotine in question here...

From the EU's EFSA:*

"According to the information received, 99% of samples tested from the 2008 production did not comply with the current MRL [0.01 mg/kg], irrespective of the wild mushrooms’ origin."

(MRL: Minimum Reporting Level)

As to the effect of this nicotine found in mushrooms:

"Nicotine is acutely toxic by all routes of exposure (oral, dermal, and inhalation). Consistently with its action as agonist at the nicotinic receptors, it targets the peripheral and central nervous systems causing for example dizziness, salivation, increased heart rate and blood pressure."

* http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1211902521498.htm

Jim Donahue said...

I use this recipe:


It's delicious. I love dried porcinis!