While truffles, which grow mainly in the Mediterranean region, can only be grown in Europe in a short period of 2 months, in Turkey it is possible to produce products for 12 months with the contribution of different climatic zones.
The Directorate-General for Forestry, which took action on the truffle, which varies between 100 euros (2 thousand TL) and 750 euros (15 thousand TL), depending on the price per kilo, variety and quality on the market, has drawn up an action plan to the contribution of truffle to the economy. According to the ‘Truffle Forest Action Plan’, it is planned to contribute 1 billion 530 million TL to the economy of truffle mushrooms until 2026.
PRODUCTION TARGET OF 425 TONNES
The annual truffle production in Turkey reaches 50 tons, providing a livelihood for nearly 400 families. Truffles produced in Turkey are exported to Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. At the end of the action plan, it is planned to produce 425 tons of truffles in 30 regional directorates across the country. To achieve the set goals, 395 hectares of land in Turkey were transformed into natural truffle forest by carrying out inventory and planning studies. In addition, about 75 thousand saplings were produced and planted in the nurseries affiliated to the General Directorate of Forestry, thus creating artificial truffle forests on a total area of 60 hectares within the relevant regional directorates.
GLOBAL WARMING THREAT
France supplies 45% of the world’s truffle production, Spain 35% and Italy 20%. Although this figure varies greatly depending on climatic conditions, the production volume in France, Spain and Italy is decreasing every year due to extreme temperatures that have been above seasonal norms in recent years.
WHAT IS IN THE ACTION PLAN?
Under the plan, truffle areas are defined and these areas are transformed into natural ‘truffle forests’ and artificial truffle forests are created. In addition, natural truffle species of Turkey will be determined and these areas will be included in the truffle forest management class.
Research will be conducted into truffle development and training will be given to resource managers and mushroom pickers.
With these studies, it is the intention that Turkey will benefit from its truffles in a sustainable way.
It aims to increase the contribution of truffles to forest villagers and the country’s economy by creating new areas of employment in rural areas.
THERE ARE 230 SPECIES IN THE WORLD
Truffle mushrooms, which live symbiotically depending on the roots of tall trees, are collected from natural forest areas around the world. Although there are estimated to be about 230 truffle varieties in the world, new varieties are discovered and added to the literature every year. About 13 of these species are used commercially. It is distributed in France, Italy, England, Turkey, Spain, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, China and the Middle East.
Truffle mushrooms are rated under two main categories: summer-winter and black-and-white.
The most valuable commercial truffle species collected so far in Turkey and found everywhere in nature is considered to be black color ‘tuber aestivum’.
Truffle mushroom is a product richer in protein and minerals than other mushrooms.
These mushrooms contain approximately 53-76% water, 9% protein, 7% carbohydrates and 8% minerals as nutritional value.
Although it has a high nutritional value, the aspect that makes truffle species superior to other mushrooms is seen as very special aromatic compounds derived from ‘dimethyl sulfide’.