Rothamstad Research, a pioneer in testing genetically engineered crops since the 1990s, has obtained approval from the UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for a series of field trials of genetically modified wheat. Tests based in Hertfordshire, UK will be the first field trials with wheat modified by CRISPR anywhere in the UK or Europe.
Wheat is modified to reduce the levels of the natural amino acid, asparagine, which is converted into carcinogenic acrylamide when baked or fried. Professor Nigel Halford, project leader, said the aim of the project was to produce low-asparagine, non-GMO wheat.
“Acrylamide has been a very serious problem for food manufacturers since it was discovered in foods in 2002,” he said. “It causes cancer in rodents and is considered ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans. -It is also present in the received food. “.
We believe that the amount of asparagine in wheat can be significantly reduced without compromising grain quality. This will benefit consumers, reducing the exposure of acrylamide and food companies to their diet and allowing them to comply with regulations regarding the presence of acrylamide in their products.
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