Food Biotechnology

Food biotechnology is a process scientists use to enhance the production, nutritional value, safety, and taste of foods. It can also benefit the environment by improving crops so that they need fewer pesticides. The concept is not new: For centuries farmers have selectively bred plants to pass on desirable qualities. For example, our ancestors began by replanting only corn seeds from the highest yielding and best tasting corn they grew each year. This process selected desirable genes and fixed them by growing the seeds of the selected crop year after year. The result: the golden, deliciously sweet product we now enjoy. Modern food biotechnology is a refined version of this same process. Today, scientists obtain desired traits by adding or removing plant genes. A gene can be removed for a trait and add it to another plant’s genetic makeup. This process is called “genetic engineering” or “recombinant DNA technology.” It yields foods that are flavorful, contain more vitamins and minerals, and absorb less fat when cooked, and gives us crops that are more resistant to pests and insects. Food biotechnology holds great promise for the future. Soon, fruits and vegetables may be made to resist drought. We may remove allergens from foods such as nuts. Scientists may develop plants that absorb nitrogen more efficiently and need less fertilizer. The benefits are nearly limitless.  

  • Role of Biotechnology in Food Production and Management
  • Green Technologies in Food Production
  • Food Biochemistry

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