Superspud to Save the Day

September 21/Liverpool, England/Daily Post --  A protein-packed "superspud" has been developed by genetic scientists who believe it could combat malnutrition.

The potato was created by boosting seed protein production by the gene AmA1 (amaranth albumin 1). Laboratory tests showed it contained up to 60% more protein than ordinary nonmodified potatoes. Concentrations of several amino acids -- protein building blocks that are essential to health -- were also increased significantly. The research was reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists led by Dr. Subhra Chakraborty, from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi, India, wrote, "Our approach of using AmA1 to increase the nutritional quality in tuber crops, particularly in potato, has been successful. To our knowledge, the increase in protein content of genetically modified tubers in this study is one of the highest increases observed in any transgenic crop."

From the October 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition