Scientists developing biofortified ‘Amazon Peanut’ with boosted levels of disease-treating proteins, fatty acids

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Scientists are developing GMO sacha inchi, a perennial plant native to much of tropical South America. Image Credit: The lifted lorax

A team of Colombian scientists is working on the development of transgenic sacha inchi, a plant in the Amazon rich in fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6 and 9, according to the non-profit organization Agro-BioThe intention, explained the [non-profit], is “to produce even higher contents of fatty acids, fundamental for consumers and the health sector.”

The research group belongs to the Eafit University, of Medellín (northwest), and is led by Professor Diego Villanueva, who considers the plant important because it has short production cycles. This, he explained, “has made it look promising in social and rural development programs and a significant economic development tool.”

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Those who are part of the project expect the development to be ready in about three years, which, explained Villanueva, “means around the corner” in scientific terms.

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The sacha inchi, known as the “peanut of the Incas,” contains high levels of healthy oils and proteins that provide cardiovascular benefits and are useful for the treatment of arthritis and diabetes.

[Editor’s note: This article was published in Spanish. This summary was prepared with Google Translate and edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Colombian scientists develop transgenic Amazon peanut high in healthy fatty acids

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