GM potatoes could boost environment

THE potato starch manufacturer AVEBE and chemical company BASF have confirmed they will jointly develop genetically enhanced amylopectin starch potatoes. .

The AVEBE-developed variety Modena is currently in the approval process for commercial use in Europe

Conventional potatoes produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch for applications such as paper, textile and adhesives industries but pure amylopectin starch is preferred and separating the two starch components is uneconomical and environmentally unfriendly, says BASF.

However, by genetically engineering the ‘switch off’ of the gene for the production of amylose, amylopectin starch potatoes produce pure amylopectin starch and help to save resources, energy and costs, says the company.

“This decision is a logical next step within our cooperation with AVEBE,” said Marc Ehrhardt, senior vice president, BASF Plant Science. “Modena is an innovative and competitive variety, which complements our existing portfolio of amylopectin starch potatoes perfectly.”

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