Abstract Mycophilic fungi of anamorphic genus Sepedonium (telomorphs in Hypomyces, Hypocreales, Ascomycota) infect and parasitize sporomata of boletes. The obligated hosts such as Boletus edulis and allied species (known as "porcini mushrooms") are among the most valued and prized edible wild mushrooms in the world. Sepedonium infections have a great morphological variability: at the initial state, contaminated mushrooms present a white coating covering tubes and pores; at the final state, Sepedonium forms a deep and thick hyphal layer that eventually leads to the total necrosis of the host. Up to date, Sepedonium infections in porcini mushrooms have been evaluated only through macroscopic and microscopic visual analysis. In this study, in order to implement the infection evaluation as a routine methodology for industrial purposes, the potential application of Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for detection of Sepedonium presence on sliced and dried B. edulis and allied species was investigated. Hyperspectral images were obtained using a pushbroom line-scanning HSI instrument, operating in the wavelength range between 400 and 1000 nm with 5 nm resolution. PCA was applied on normal and contaminated samples. To reduce the spectral variability caused by factors unrelated to Sepedonium infection, such as scattering effects and differences in sample height, different spectral pre-treatments were applied. A supervised rule was then developed to assign spectra recorded on new test samples to each of the two classes, based on the PC scores. This allowed to visualize directly - within false-color images of test samples - which points of the samples were contaminated. The results achieved may lead to the development of a non-destructive monitoring system for a rapid on-line screening of contaminated mushrooms.
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