If you’ve hesitating heading out into the forest to forage for mushrooms for the dinner table, because you are unsure which ones are edible, there is help on the way.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen (KU) have developed a free app that can identify mushrooms – and help foragers avoid the poisonous ones – via digital photo recognition.
“It’s the first time that it is possible to get assistance to immediately identify mushrooms through digital photo recognition in Denmark,” said associate professor and project leader Jacob Heilmann-Clausen.
Consult an expert
The app, named Svampeatlas ’mushroom atlas’, is linked to the Danish database for mushrooms in Denmark, Danmarks Svampeatlas.
The app functions by the user taking a photo of a mushroom, which the app then analyses and identifies.
However, researchers warn that mushroom foragers should solely rely on the app.
“You should never eat a mushroom just because the app suggests it’s edible. You should always make sure to ask a seasoned expert,” said Heilmann-Clausen.
An average of two people die from eating poisonous mushrooms every year, according to the Giftlinjen poison hotline at Bispebjerg Hospital. A similar number of liver transplants are also caused by mushrooms.