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Quebec-grown truffles unique in the world

Québec City, August 17, 2022A research team from Université Laval , under the direction of Normand Voyer, professor in the Department of Chemistry at Université Laval , has just established the uniqueness of the aroma of the Appalachian truffle grown in Québec. The results of this groundbreaking research have just been published in the international scholarly journal ACS OMEGA. Through state of the art analysis, chemists have shown that the aroma of Tuber canaliculatum, the scientific name of the truffle species grown in Québec, is composed of more than 30 volatile chemicals, six of which are unique to this species.

"This is the first time that a detailed analysis of the volatilome has been performed on Québec truffles. These analyses are a major scientific challenge because they must be carried out very quickly, since the aroma degrades as soon as it is harvested, and substances in minute concentrations greatly influence the aroma of truffles," says Normand Voyer.

Truffles are rare symbiotic mushrooms that grow underground and are increasingly prized by chefs around the world. They must be harvested with the help of an animal, often a dog or a pig, which can detect their powerful aroma even underground.

At the moment, these mushrooms come mainly from France, Italy and Spain, which have developed highly sought-after local products that currently dominate the world market. Québec entrepreneurs are trying to carve out a place for themselves as truffle growing is booming in Quebec.

A first in Quebec

"We are very pleased with the demonstration of the uniqueness of Québec truffles," says Jérôme Quirion, founder of ArborInnov, Quebec's leading truffle producer and the company that provided the samples for the study. "Because truffles grow in association with soil microorganisms, we were confident they had a distinctive aroma, and demonstrating this scientifically is a validation of their great value. Québec truffles have the potential to distinguish Québec gastronomy on a global level."

This study is just the beginning of a vast research program on the chemical composition of Québec truffles. The research team now plans to characterize the volatilome of various Québec truffles by comparing it with that of European truffles and to identify factors related to their conservation.

Link to the article in ACS OMEGA

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About ArborInnov
Founded in 2009 by Jérôme Quirion, ArborInnov is a Canadian leader in the field of truffle production. The company specializes in the production of value-added woody plants, mainly symbiotic mycorrhizal plants. It distinguishes itself by its constant efforts in research and development in order to offer innovative, high quality products that meet the needs of farmers, industry and the public.

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For information and interview requests::

Normand Voyer
Full Professor, Department of Chemistry, Laval University
418 803-3966
normand.voyer@chm.ulaval.ca

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