Scientists engineer calorie-free plants

07 June 1999

Scientists engineer calorie-free plants

Scientists at the Centre for Plant Breeding and Research in
Wageningen in The Netherlands have genetically engineered plants to make
natural sugars with practically no calories.

The research holds out the promise of developing a plant that
provides sugars that can make non-fattening sweets and cakes.

The scientists have made a sugar beet that can make fructans, sugars
which come in long chains of molecules, making it hard for the body to
absorb them.The research is also promising low calorie fats or thickeners for use
in many products from ice cream and dairy products to paints. A second
gene from the artichoke has been engineered which makes the beet produce
an even more complicated form of fructan of between 50 and 100 molecules
in size.

  • The Times 07/06/99 page 1, page 2

See more