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Module 4: Nutrient Composition

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Research into the modification of fiber and complex carbohydrates in foods has increased. This increase has occurred due to the affects they have been found to have on lipid metabolism and diabetes control (3). The foods in this section have had their carbohydrate content modified, at least in the laboratory.

This picture shows a grain truck filled with harvested ears of corn.


The research into carbohydrate modification of maize began with investigation into naturally occurring mutants that were found to have altered seed starch composition. These plants helped researchers understand the biochemistry and genetics surrounding starch accumulation in maize. They then used this knowledge and antisense technology to change carbohydrate composition in other plants, such as tomatoes (3).


As was discussed in an earlier section, new protein expression results in changes in the plant. A new protein, ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase from Escherichia coli, was introduced into potatoes to change starch composition. Specifically, more starch accumulated in the potato (1). The increased starch results in less fat absorption during cooking and thus a significantly lower-fat product.


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