We are not likely to see them quickly in our salads, but researchers have created a genetically modified tomato that has a considerable amount of nutrients. Consuming this GMO tomato would be like drinking 50 bottles of wine.
Many people do not like GMO food because it can be harmful to health and the environment. But some GMO foods may also protect against disease and improve health. A study, published in the journal NatureCommunicationsshows that it is possible to genetically modify a food to increase its quantity of nutrients.
The study, conducted at John Innes Center in England, has made it possible to create a new variety of tomato which contains the same amount of Resveratrol than 50 bottles of red wine and the same amount of Genistein than 2.5 kg of Tofu.
the Resveratrol is a component found in grapes, nuts and some berries. This component can reduce inflammation, fight cancer or reduce heart disease. Note, however, that a study conducted in 2014 questioned the benefits of this first component. The Genistein is a substance similar to estrogen found in plants, especially in soy. Genistein can fight cancer and osteoporosis and has heart benefits. Regardless of the effectiveness of the components, the study conducted on the genetically modified tomato shows the potential of the tomato as an excellent source of nutrients.
“The tomato is a superb production system,” explains Cathy Martin, the head of research. » If the genetic modification targets the final development of the fruit, then it can be used as a container to accumulate the natural products without affecting the harvest. »
To create this super tomato, Cathie and her colleagues introduced a gene from a plant called Arabidopsis thaliana which belongs to the family of Brassicaceae. This gene was introduced into the tomato genome. Genetic modification has allowed the tomato to produce more antioxidants called Flavonols. Then, other genes can be added to produce specific compounds such as Resveratrol and Genistein.
“I think when consumers see a product that provides a benefit to them that could not be obtained through natural selection methods, they will have a much better understanding of the potential that biotech crops have for society,” Cathie concluded. .
Source: Nature Communications
By Jacqueline Charpentier with Actuality Houssenia Writing