Starch watch

Published: Saturday 28 February 1998

Scientists at Oxford University, UK, have found a way to increase the starch content of potato, maize and rice. Starch is the single largest energy source in human diet. The researchers have discovered that suppressing the activity of an enzyme called nad-malic, starch production can be increased sharply. The new technique could help make low-fat chips, as potatoes with high-starch content have less water than normal potatoes and therefore, take up less fat during frying. Modulation of the same enzyme may also make the starch content of potatoes more uniform, thereby improving the efficiency of the frying process.

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