Healthier ketchup?

Lycopene and β-carotene are major carotenoids that are not only essential for human health but also can apparently help reduce heart disease, certain cancers, and macular degeneration. Most people consume too few of these phytonutrients, and taking supplements may not be the answer, since other plant compounds are thought to exert a synergistic effect. To provide a better source of dietary carotenoids, Bramley and colleagues (p. 666) show that by engineering transgenic tomato plants to express a single bacterial gene for phytoene desaturase, they can produce fruit with three times as much β-carotene without affecting growth or development of the plant.

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Jamison, J. Healthier ketchup?. Nat Biotechnol 18, 587 (2000).

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