Lab-born Golden Potato
The result is the Golden Potato having a content of Vitamin E and pro-Vitamin A of 10 times and over 200 higher than potatoes on the market, respectively.
The study results show that 150 grams only of Golden Potato, named after the intense yellow colour given by the high amount of beta-carotene it contains, give 34% and 42% of the recommended daily dose of these two vitamins to children of pre-school age.
“We started from a variety of low-content carotenoid potato and we ‘induced’ it to produce a very high quantity of beta-carotene, putting the genes of Erwinia bacterium, which is not pathogen to humans, into its DNA”, said Giovanni Giuliano, ENEA study coordinator “These bacteria have a much smaller genome than plants and can do the same things with much less genes. If we used carrot genes to synthetize beta-carotene, we would have needed 6 instead of 3”.
The researchers from the Ohio University, led by Mark Failla have developed an innovative digestive system with regard to the quantity of nutrient released by potatoes, available for absorption.
“To achieve these results, we have used a system of biofortification on potatoes which uses genetic engineering” concluded Giuliano “Therefore, it is important to maintain an open-minded approach and consider that nutritional requirements differ in the world and that by 2050 we will feed 9 billion people with safe and nutrient food”.