ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to individuate a method to improve the shelf life of fresh truffles, hypogeous fungi highly prized but very perishable as well. Microbial ecology of fresh products was investigated and the effect of irradiation at different doses on microbial and sensorial parameters was assayed. Data showed that fresh truffles are strongly contaminated from different groups of microorganisms. Irradiation was able to influence their growth, determining an impressive reduction. Treatments at 5 and 10 kGy doses produced the highest microbial decontamination but negatively influenced sensorial parameters. Irradiation at a 1.5 kGy dose was the best solution to improve the shelf life of truffles.