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Truffles: From Islamic culture to chemistry, pharmacology, and food trends in recent times

Khalifa, Shaden A.M., Farag, Mohamed A., Yosri, Nermeen, Sabir, Jamal S.M., Saeed, Aamer, Al-Mousawi, Saleh Mohammed, Taha, Wafaa, Musharraf, Syed Ghulam, Patel, Seema, El-Seedi, Hesham R.
Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.91 pp. 193-218
Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Zygomycota, antineoplastic activity, antioxidants, eye diseases, juices, nutritive value, organic matter, polysaccharides, soil fungi, therapeutics, traditional medicine, truffles
Many years back, during Islamic civilization, truffle (Kama'ah) was mentioned by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) to be well recognized as a therapeutic for eye diseases. (“In the Sahihain, it is narrated that the Prophet said: “The Kama'ah (truffle) is among the manna (which is a food mentioned in the Qura'n, Surah al-Baqarah), and its water (extract or juice) cures the eye diseases”). Truffles represent a large group of soil fungi belonging to Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota. Because of their exceptionally profitable protein, fat, polysaccharide, carbohydrate, ash, mineral, phenolic and other organic molecule contents, truffles have been appreciated as food, nutritional and therapeutic sources for many years.The main aim of this review is to highlight a comprehensive compile of truffles traditional uses, mycochemistry, pharmacological properties and nutritional value with special focus on desert truffles. Such review represents a good candidate reference for future truffle research.In this review, we discuss the traditional aspects of truffles with reference to Prophetic Traditional Medicine (al-Tibb al-Nabawi) to cure aliments such as trachoma. The use of truffles is justified by many recent research findings with regards to their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Although the molecular mechanism and functions of the different truffle species have been intensively studied, we look forward to translating these traditional remedies into preclinical and clinical applications.