Arsenic content of some edible mushroom species

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The arsenic contents of 162 fruit body samples of 37 common edible mushroom taxa were analyzed. The samples were gathered from different habitats of Hungary (mainly from mountains) between 1984 and 1999. The arsenic content of the samples was measured by the inductively coupled plasma spectrometry method. Very low [lower than 0.05mg/kg dry matter (DM)] concentrations were found in the samples of 13 taxa, while higher (or very high) contents were quantified in other common taxa (the highest arsenic content was recorded in the fruit body of Laccaria amethysthea at 146.9mg/kg DM). The species of eight genera (Agaricus, Calvatia, Collybia, Laccaria, Langermannia, Lepista, Lycoperdon, Macrolepiota) belong to the so-called accumulating taxa, and this tendency is evident on all habitats. This arsenic accumulation capability is found in two orders of Basidiomycetes (Agaricales and Gasteromycetales), which is to say this phenomenon occurs in the families Agaricaceae, Tricholomataceae and Gasteromycetaceae. The accumulating taxa found all have a saprotrophic type of nutrition; arsenic accumulation is not detectable in xilophagous or in mycorrhizal species. The consumption of the accumulating species found has only a low toxicological risk for three reasons: the consumed fresh fruit bodies contain about a tenfold lower arsenic level than the dried ones, the majority of arsenic occurs not in poisonous inorganic, but in less dangerous (or not poisonous) organic forms, and the frequency of consumption is low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Food Research and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Agaricus
  • Arsenic accumulation
  • Calvatia
  • Collybia
  • Edible higher mushrooms
  • Laccaria
  • Langermannia
  • Lepista
  • Lycoperdon
  • Macrolepiota species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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