I've always liked them
LinkMushrooms transformed into allergy-free rubber
Japanese researchers say they have produced rubber from a natural substance extracted from an edible, wild mushroom commonly found in the country.
Hiroshi Mitomo of Gunma University, west of Tokyo, says researchers have not only produced rubber from the chichitake mushroom but the end-product has the advantage of not containing a protein that can cause allergies.
"We are working on this project with the aim of trying to commercialise the product," Mr Mitomo said.
Before that happens, however, there are a few issues to address, including the fact that it takes more than 10 kilograms of mushrooms to make 1 kilogram of rubber.
Also, the mushrooms are not grown commercially, are found only at the height of summer and rot after only about 10 days.
"The biggest obstacle will be trying to reduce production costs," Mr Mitomo said.
Currently, producing rubber from the mushrooms is more than 10 times as costly as getting it by tapping rubber trees or making it from petroleum products.