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Researchers Close to Utilizing Rapeseed For Human Consumption

In the EU, half of plant proteins come from rapeseed plants. The plant has only previously been used for oil and animal feed due to its unsafe and bitter nature for human consumption. A new study from the University of Copenhagen was published in Nature where researchers have said they are getting closer to removing the plant’s bitter substances. This will create a new protein source that helps work toward the green transition according to a release.

Rapeseed is currently cultivated for edible and industrial oils and as a protein supplement for animal feed. The benefits to the plant being bitter is a defensive mechanism to disease and herbivore pests, but the downfall is it is not edible for humans.

The researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences were able to identify the proteins that help to store the bitter substances in the seeds of the thale cress plant. Thale cress is used as a model since it is a close relative of rapeseed.

The research can be used to remove the bitter proteins which would as a result make the rapeseed not bitter.

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