Truffle hunter Cristiano Savini found the fungus in Palaia, a Tuscan town about 40 kilometres from Pisa. ((Andrew Medichini/Associated Press))

An unusually largewhite trufflesold Saturday for $330,000 US, a new world record.

Macau billionaire Stanley Ho bought the 1.5-kilogram fungal delicacyat a charity auction held simultaneouslyin London, Florence and Macau.

The truffle was dug up 40 kilometres fromPisa last weekend by Cristiano Savini and his dog Rocco.The dog located the gnarled fungus 75 centimetres underground near an oak tree in the Tuscan countryside.

Cristiano and his father Lucianodonated it to the International Tuscan Truffle Auction. Proceeds from the auction will go to an Italian organization that helps sufferers of genetic diseases, a group that helps street children in London and Catholic charities in Macau.

Auction organizer Giselle Oberti said the Tuscan treat bested the previous $212,000 record price paid for a truffle.

Ho, a casino tycoon,will have less than a week to eat the truffle; it must be consumed within 20 days of being unearthed.

With files from the Associated Press