What's inside chocolate, strawberries
December 26th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

What's inside chocolate, strawberries

Strawberries and chocolate go all too well together in fondue, cakes, and any other dessert you can imagine. Now, scientists are learning more than ever about the genetic makeup of both of these foods, and that knowledge could lead to genetically modified versions that are more nutritious and easier to grow.

The journal Nature Genetics is publishing studies about the genomes of each of these foods. Each of the studies is led by a different international team of researchers, and has received a mixture of academic, U.S. government and industry funding (strawberry industry groups contributed to research on that fruit, and Hershey Corp. helped fund the cocoa study).

By sequencing the strawberry genome, scientists can learn about how the fruits could be bio-engineered to be bigger, better-tasting, and more resistant to disease, said Kevin Folta, University of Florida researcher who collaborated on the study of the woodland strawberry. Folta estimates that it will be another 5 to 10 years before strawberries genetically modified for these qualities hit the market.

This is the first sequencing of the wild strawberry genome, and one of the first of any important fruit, said co-author Mark Borodovsky of Georgia Institute of Technology. The grape's genome was sequenced in 2008, and the apple earlier this year.

Strawberries are rich in many kinds of compounds implicated in health benefits, such as antioxidants. Antioxidants may guard your body from free radicals, atoms or groups of atoms that can damage cells. Understanding the genes underlying the synthesis of these beneficial substances may lead to the creation of strawberries that produce higher amounts of those compounds.

The cocoa study, similarly, could lead to the invention of more nutritious chocolate, said Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology at Pennsylvania State University, who collaborated with a large consortium of researchers from around the world. They found 96 genes in the flavonoid pathway; flavonoids are compounds thought to improve artery health and reduce inflammation. Special breeding could increase those flavonoids.

"That would mean we’d be able to get more of these healthy, health-beneficial nutrients from chocolate with eating less chocolate; that’s probably a good thing," Guiltinan said.

In fact, German researchers announced in March that eating as little as a quarter ounce of chocolate per day could lower heart attack and stroke risk. Other research has linked eating cocoa to lowering blood pressure, improving blood vessel function, lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

Guiltinan and colleagues studied Criollio cacao, a tree that the Maya domesticated about 3,000 years ago in Central America. It used in fine gourmet chocolate, and only in about 5% of commercial chocolate, because of its susceptibility to disease and low production. Chocolate made from it has more flowery, fruity notes than what's in your average candy bar, said Siela Maximova, study co-author and associate professor of horticulture at Penn State.

The genome sequence for this tree could help engineer more disease-resistant cacao, which would help local farmers in developing countries, Guiltinan said. Similarly, the strawberry genome could lead to genetically modified fruits that would help strawberry farmers in the developing world, Folta said.

soundoff (877 Responses)
  1. Seo Marketing Business

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    May 8, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Video Marketing Companies

    Excellent post. I am going through many of these issues as well..


    May 9, 2021 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Seo Marketing Firm


    May 9, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Mentor


    May 9, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Seo Marketing Experts


    May 9, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Remodel Los Angeles


    May 9, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Bathroom Orange County

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.


    May 9, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Internet Marketing Business


    May 9, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Video Marketing Consultant

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the site is also very good.


    May 10, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Internet Marketing Mentors


    May 10, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Local Marketing Companies

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 10, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Content Marketing Agencies

    You've made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 10, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Seo Marketing Firm

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!


    May 10, 2021 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Internet Marketing Pictures

    It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 10, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Google Marketing Programs


    May 10, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Social Media Marketing Firms California

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I like all of the points you made.


    May 11, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Content Marketing Club


    May 11, 2021 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Digital Marketing Firms Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 11, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Firm


    May 11, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Digital Marketing Quotes


    May 11, 2021 at 07:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Content Marketing Orange County


    May 11, 2021 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Internet Marketing Mentors

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!


    May 11, 2021 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Internet Marketing Company Orange County


    May 11, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Content Marketing Jobs


    May 11, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Social Media Marketing Center


    May 11, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Internet Marketing Contractors

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


    May 11, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. collision center of temecula temecula ca


    May 11, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Repair Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 Automatic Transmission


    May 11, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Lighting Riverside


    May 11, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Van Repair Facilities


    May 12, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv parts los angeles

    Good blog you've got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 12, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. ocrv storage

    I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.


    May 12, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Couches Orange County


    May 12, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sprinter Repair Shop


    May 12, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv for sale orange county

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 12, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. orange county collision center


    May 12, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. california girl pics


    May 12, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. truck painting near me


    May 12, 2021 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. stornobrzinol

    I am not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.


    May 13, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rv mechanic near me


    May 13, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Repair Cost On Mercedes Sprinter Van

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 13, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. toad truck near me


    May 13, 2021 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv parts los angeles

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually thought you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    May 13, 2021 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv interior remodeling

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 13, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. horse trailer repair near me

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://go.onelink.me/v1xd?pid=Patch&c=Mobile Footer&af_web_dp=https://ocrv.today/junk-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. semi truck paint shops near me

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉


    May 13, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Van Meter Auto Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Sprinter Repair Los Angeles

    That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 13, 2021 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. where to buy rv furniture


    May 14, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Remodeling Riverside


    May 14, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.