All posts tagged: Biotechnology

Wine that is blue as blue jeans

… is so blue cause it is spiked with indigo – the natural colour of original blue jeans. Some natural wine varieties – such ‘blauer Portugiese’ or ‘Blauer Zweigelt'(see pic below to compare colours) – are very dark wines cause of naturally occuring blue pigments in wine. But, this new wine variety is a marketing trick. The Spanish brank ‘GIK‘ thought to themselves: “hm, if everybody is selling red wine – we will sell blue wine”. And, their concept works – they are celebrating economic successes in Spain. Quite obviously, it is absolutely tres chic, to drink blue wine if everybody else drinks red wine 😉 Now they are up to conquering other European markets. Interesting! Their wine by the way is product of food technology and not of raising a special new grap variety… they take out the grapes red pigments and add blue pigments – indigo and anthocyan – exctracted from the graps skins. Honestly, I want to try it!!    

Biotech Optimizes Ice Cream

Very brilliantly Scientists in a collaboration between Dundee and Edinburgh University figured out that when you add a protein into ice-cream, it doesn’t melt away so quickly – staying intact longer as well as preventing sticky fingers and stains. The protein can be naturally found in ‘Natto’ – a Japanese breakfirst (doesn’t look too appealing to me). Natto is a salty breakfirst, but you just add the protein anyway. So, besides staying in form, the protein also does the trick of making the ice cream a lot healthier of course (read more here). The Scientists hope that the optimized ice cream can be already brought to market in 3 years! So – another little bit of Science to brighten your daily life 😉

A little Science bite: coffee is valuable

And precisely every bit of it is a treasure!! In fact many people believe that you cannot even awaken without coffee (see picture 83 on this list for example). However, at the moment it is common practice to only collect the beans and throw away the cherries – “a waste”, said Rudi Dieleman.  And, he founded a business based on everything you can make from these cherries. This includes: dietary fibers, pectin, antioxidants, cellulose and red colouring agent. They say so, it is only the start – here is their TedTalk!

GMO, agriculture and the game changer CRISPR

The CRISPR/Cas-System was recognized as potential game changer only recently. Yet, already it leveraged biotechnology  into a truely relevant Science for many industry sectors. Obviously, it is of interest for pharma, and some companies started venturing into the technology. Less expected – it already started taking an impact on agriculture. In her entertaining and magnificently informed article Maywa Montenegro introduces you to recent examples of CRISPR-based gene editing concerning corn and pigs (!), as well as giving you an overview of the legal consequences of this technology (the picture actually stems from this article). Focused genetic improvement of not only crops but also livestock seems to be a thing. The necessary technical know-how for this field is quickly establishing. Given these developments,  it becomes time for any concious eater to READ about this technology. So, read Montenegro’s article! 🙂

Are you afraid of GMO food?

Especially when you are from Europe, there is a certain possibility that you are. After all, the EU possess far more strict laws banning the use of many GMO crop varieties. Now, here is the thing: GMO’s may not be as bad as you think explains Nathanael Johnson in his latest article. The reason herefore is not that there are per se no dangers associated with modern genetic engineering technologies. Rather the weak and misleading definition the term ‘genetically modified organism’ is based on prevents a common ground of understanding. Especially, if you have no background in Biology, this article provides a good start to understand the scientific and philosophical concepts concerning the matter. This does not – of course – necessarily mean that the public should accept whatever new crop breed product companies want to introduce to the market. However, it may help to improve the general intellectual quality of the debate.

Attention cows: Muufri is entering the market!

At the moment, you still may not. It is a start-up (three cofounders) from University College Cork (Ireland) that want to bring artificial dairy milk on the market. Why? Because there are so many issues about current milk production: think about animal mistreatment, environmental concerns and human health threats concerning industrial production of cow milk. The good news is: cow milk is a simple product. It is composed of only 6 major proteins and 8 sugars. Muufri expressed these proteins in yeast and only had to tinker with their composition in order to gain the right flavour. Their product is supposedly healthier than normal cow milk; it has less of milk side products (hormones, cholosterol, too high lactose levels) that may be a health concern for humans. The company hopes to enter the market in three years: good luck with it!! And, we will stay tuned 😉 If interested, visit their website at: http://muufri.com/

Food that moves in your mouth

Eating living organisms as a culinary delicacy is already known today. The conceptual artist Minsu Kim has a vision, though, that in the future – thanks to synthetic biology – this is gonna become the next big thing. Some moving dinner suggestions invisioned by Kim, can be found here: Artist Creates Food That Moves In The Mouth [Video] Shall the future come! Muahahaha!