Effect of drying, blanching, pickling and maceration on the fate of 40K, total K and 137Cs in bolete mushrooms and dietary intake

Jerzy Falandysz, Daniela Meloni, Alwyn R. Fernandes, Michał Saniewski

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The effects of drying, blanching and pickling and maceration on the leaching of 137Cs and 40K from the flesh of three edible bolete mushroom species—Boletus edulis, Leccinum scabrum and Leccinum versipelle—were investigated. Significant (p < 0.05) decreases in activity were observed but varied depending on the treatment. Relative to fresh mushrooms, blanching decreased the activity concentration of 137Cs by 15 ± 13%, and of 40K, by 16 ± 7%, but blanching and pickling (vinegar) reduced activity more effectively, by 55 ± 8% and 40 ± 20% respectively. The corresponding losses of 137Cs and 40K through maceration of dried, powdered mushrooms were 38 ± 11% and 35 ± 14% ww, respectively. These results indicate that traditional domestic processing methods may not be as efficient at excluding 137Cs radioactivity as shown in some other studies. The activity concentration of 137Cs in a typically sized (100 g) portion of a processed mushroom (sourced from nearshore regions of the southern Baltic Sea coast near Gdańsk in 2015) meal was projected to be low, i.e. in the range of 0.51 to 12 Bq kg −1 ww. The corresponding effective dose of 137Cs from blanched, blanched and pickled and macerated mushrooms per capita was also assessed to be low, from 0.001 to 0.010 μSv. Nutritionally, the median concentration of potassium (330 mg) in 100 g portions of blanched or pickled mushrooms would account for around 7% of the adequate adult daily intake. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742–754
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date2 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Dietary exposure
  • Edible fungi
  • Food analysis
  • Food composition
  • Foraged food radioactive contamination
  • Mushrooms

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