Zero-zero oilseeds

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

INDIAN scientists are trying to breed oilseed varieties with a lower content of harmful fatty acids and sulphur compounds. Says deputy director general for horticulture of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, K L Chadha, "Some Indian varieties of rapeseed and mustard may contain as much as 50 per cent of fatty acids, while varieties found in other parts of the world, have hardly any such acids."

But these imported varieties, called zero-zero varieties because the oil extracted from them is safer for human consumption, failed to grow in Indian conditions. The scientists are now using both conventional breeding techniques and biotechnology to develop such varieties for India.

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