MOPH to release mushroom ID app to save people from poisoning

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Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai.
Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai.

Bangkok – Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is preparing to release a mushroom identification application to reduce the number of people suffering from poisoning.

Director-General of the Department of Medical Science, Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, disclosed Thursday that the department had developed laboratory analysis techniques for mushroom identification which categorize commonly-found toxins in mushrooms into alpha Amanitin, beta-Amanitin and Muscarine.

The department also plans to devise mushroom classification methods using DNA barcodes to ensure analytical precision and to identify newly-discovered species. The department has so far completed more than 200 data sets on toxic mushrooms with the barcoding system. The project is intended to prevent or reduce deaths from toxic mushroom consumption.

The department also refutes mistaken beliefs that heat can eliminate mushroom toxins, insect-bitten wild mushrooms are edible and boiling rice with unknown mushrooms enable people to see whether they are fit to eat.