Genetically modified crops have still not found flavour favour in the UK. This may be due in part to the famous British sentimentalism. We’re OK with Dolly the Sheep, but we look askance at Peter the Potato.
Not so in other parts of Europe.
Amflora is a strain of potato that is authorised for the likes of glue or paper-making, but not human consumption. Principally becauseit tastes more like glue than potato.
Development began in the mid-1980s, at the beginning of the revolution in biotech foods. A Swedish farmers’ cooperative, Lyckeby, one of Europe’s biggest starch producers, was searching for potatoes with high starch content to supply the starches it sells for manufacturing paper, textile finishes, glues and other products.
So, maybe tinkering with genes doesn’t improve the flavour.
In the best traditions of Hammer horror movies, the next step should surely be to strap the hapless potato down to a table and
harness the power of a Transylvanian thunder storm.
Scientists from Obihiro University, in Japan, found that simply giving spuds an electronic shock makes them more nutritious by generating more antioxidants, which have been shown to combat heart disease and cancer.
They believe the technique, which created enough stress to trick the vegetable into producing antioxidants, could one day turn spuds into one of nature’s ”superfoods”.
”We knew from research done in the past that drought, bruising and other stresses could stimulate the accumulation of beneficial phenolic compounds in fresh produce,” said Dr Kazunori Hironaka, who led the study.
As if it wasn’t enough to torture the vegetable, they have to play tricks on it as well.If it turns out that potatoes are sentient beings, then scientists may suddenly find themselves being put on a list.
“Don’t tell him your name, Pike“!
While it may fairly be said that potatoes are not counted amongst the more ihtelligent forms of life, perhaps there is some proof that, if the shapes and sizes to which they grow are any indication, they may have a sense of humour.
The Biggest Potato in the World – Photo: Brad Wakefield/SWNS
This prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.
The vegetable, Peter’s Kondor variety, was put on show on Friday at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.