Ice cream on

5 10 2006
Sterding: read a brief news in Nature when having lunch.

Recombinant ice cream additive sparks controversy in Europe

A new diet ice cream is soon to reach the market thanks to the use of biotech.

Francis Dean/Dean Pictures/NewsCom
European consumer products company Unilever is seeking approval from
the British Food Standards Agency to use a type III ice-structuring
protein derived from the blood of an eel-like animal called ocean pout
in the production of low-fat ice cream. Found in plants and animals
living in extremely cold environments, ice-structuring proteins prevent
tissue damage from freezing by lowering the temperature at which ice
crystals form. Its use in ice cream would allow manufacturers to employ
less cream or fat in the freezing process. Although produced using GM
technology in yeast, the final product contains no yeast and is thus
GM-free. The protein has been used in the US for three years, and is
approved in Australia and elsewhere. In Europe, however, GM opponents
have said that its approval could give manufacturers license to begin
to introduce wider use of GM products. But Adeline Farrelly
spokesperson of bioindustry group EuropaBio in Brussels notes that
biotech products grown in a field are regulated by different
legislation than products grown in a vat, such as this protein. "This
is a good example of the potential of GM technologies," she says.
"Companies are looking at these technologies and asking what they can
do to improve our products." AK [Nature link]



3 responses

8 10 2006


26 10 2006


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