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Biotechnology Foods, Evolution and Future Prospects

BY: Syed Amir Manzoor | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2011-11-20 19:24:17
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Article Summary: "The article focuses on the development of biotechnological foods and the future concerns associated with these foods..."


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Agriculture started 15000 years ago before that man used to be hunters but then the ecosystem changed and human beings became secondary consumers earlier they used to be primary consumers. Natural foods were high in nutritional value, taste, texture and freshness but as industrialization began the environment became polluted their freshness, nutritional value, texture and taste was sacrificed. Moreover these natural foods are slow to produce; they are not resistant to different agrochemicals like herbicides, pesticides, fungicides etc. Then in 1990's a revolution in agriculture took place GM foods were first produced and introduced in to market in USA. They got huge boom because they looked way fresher than naturally produced crops they were high in nutritional values and resistant to attack of pests and agrochemicals etc. The crops that have been genetically modified to produce our desired results are known as genetically modified, genetically engineered, and transgenic or biotechnologically improved food. They are called so because they have foreign genes which produce some certain desired results in them.

Foods that have been modified up till now
A large number of plants have been genetically modified up till now using biotechnology they are soybeans have been modified to be resistant to use of glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides. They are modified by inoculation of herbicidal resistant genes, maize are also modified to be resistant to herbicides, insects, pesticides. Vitamin enriched i.e. 169 times greater beta carotene (it's a blood procuring vitamin), 2 times vitamin C and folate corn are also produced genes from bacillus thuringiensis are given to the plant to stimulate the production of BT proteins which produces resistance against agrochemicals. Cotton that is resistant to pest has been produced by using BT crystal protein gene. Agrochemical resistant alfalfa has been produced by the addition of modified genes. Hawaiian papaya has been genetically modified to have resistance against ringspot virus, canola has been modified to be resistant against agrochemicals, and sugarcanes have also been modified to be resistant to pesticidal action and have high sucrose level. Rice have been modified to known as beta rice to have beta-carotene in it stimulator and producer of vitamin A. Sweet peppers and Zucchini have been modified to be resistant to the viral attack. USA stands in first place to be highest gross producer of transgenic crops with 45% of its crops as transgenic crops, Brazil stands on second spot with 17% transgenic crops, Argentina on 3rd number with 15%, India and Canada with 6%, Paraguay and Pakistan with 2% And South Africa and Uruguay share the final spot with 1% annual production.

Future horizons
Genetically modified foods might be used in future for the production of drugs of human use e.g. bananas may be used in future for the generation of vaccines for hepatitis B, swiftly maturing fish giving ample quantity of meat, tests will be conducted on these foods to be answerable to the people, rick free crops of nuts, fruits etc will be made having many features. GM crops will have mass production in the underdeveloped countries too. Earth's population is increasing at an incredible rate and it's estimated to reach 9 billion by year 2050 so genetically modified crops require less space to cultivate as they have greater yield. Scientists are looking for ways to reduce allergies caused by these foods.

Uses of genetically modified foods
• Food shortage which was faced during the past years has now been shortened by production of GM crops, as they are quickly produced and produce high quality of food high in nutritional value. Papayas, tomatoes have been modified to have greater yield in lesser amount of time; weeds are controlled hence saving farmers from the tribulations of tilling the ground repeatedly. Sweet potatoes ripe very slowly but due to genetic engineering now they ripe at very fast pace.
• These crops are resistant to the action of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides etc. So these agrochemicals are used and hence better crops are produced scientists are also more inclined to use bio-pesticides like aphids for wasps. By warding off insects, pests, microorganisms etc these crops are better protected and hence better in every way.
• Viruses, fungi, algae and bacteria free crops are produced causing fewer hazards to our health.
• New food classes have been made using biotechnology seedless oranges; seedless melons, mini avocadoes, seedless guava etc have been produced using biotechnology.
Excess of everything is bad, these foods are produced at mass level and their uncontrolled production if not monitored can be alarming as they can produce allergies and be a harm to human life.

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