Decoding The Secret Behind Succulent Treats

By Meera Dolasia on January 7, 2011

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Ever wondered why some strawberries are super sweet, while others not so much or why some chocolates taste creamier than others?  It's all to do with the same thing that makes each human being different - the genes. Now, scientists believe they have unlocked the code that will take them one step closer to even more delicious versions of not only these two treats, but others as well.

The two separate studies conducted by a team from 38 organizations from all over the world, was led by scientists from France's CIRAD, an organization that tackles agricultural issues. Their mission is to not only create tastier produce, but also, one that is healthier and more resilient to disease.

For the chocolate study, the scientists selected Criollo - A cacao tree that was first cultivated by humans during the Mayan era, about 3,000 years ago. Amongst the 28,798 genes identified, were two that help protect the plant against disease. Also identified, were the genes that influence the amount of natural antioxidants, aroma, color and flavor.

In the case of strawberries, the scientists picked the wild Woodland Strawberry, which they uncovered has an astonishing 35,000 genes or about one and half times the number found in humans. Similar to the cacao tree, they were able to segregate the ones responsible for diseases, aroma, color and flavor.

The scientists are now hoping to use this information to cultivate plants that can resist diseases, which in turn will lead to better yields and more sustainable farming, especially in the case of the highly susceptible cacao tree.

Also, since the strawberry is part of the Rosaceae family of plants, which includes apples, peaches, pears, raspberries and roses, they are hoping to use similar techniques to boost the production of other fruits as well.

Genes are chemicals that determine the traits or characteristics that all living things inherit from their parents. In the case of humans they determine things like how a person looks, how tall he/she is, whether he/she has curly or straight hair etc. etc. Each of the between 20,000-25,000 genes, housed inside the nucleus of every human cell, carry their own blueprint or pre-determined function. It is the malfunction of these protein molecules that leads to all kinds of diseases in living creatures, which is the reason scientists study them so closely.

Sources: topnews.us, cbc.ca,kidshealth.org

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318 Comments
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  • bluetooth
    bluetoothWednesday, January 21, 2015 at 9:55 am
    NO! Don't show me chocolate!XD
    • palmbeach123
      palmbeach123Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 5:29 pm
      you can say that again beautifulgirl
      • animefan3
        animefan3Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 10:44 am
        This is making me hunger
        • nikukyu
          nikukyuWednesday, December 31, 2014 at 6:47 pm
          Ohhhhh the first pic almost made me faint with hunger... Please can I have it?🙏
          • aphphilippines
            aphphilippinesThursday, January 1, 2015 at 2:08 pm
            *Drooling*Can I share it with you?
            • animefan3
              animefan3Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 10:44 am
              Even I want one nikukyu
              • peacheslarue
                peacheslarueThursday, January 1, 2015 at 4:27 pm
                i want one even more than you two........
                • nikukyu
                  nikukyuThursday, January 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm
                  Every one can share! Lol I sound like a preschool teacher:D
                  • peacheslarue
                    peacheslarueFriday, January 2, 2015 at 10:18 am
                    Waaaaaahhhh! Im calling my mommy to tell on you if i dont get the chocolate part!! Hahah LOL XD
            • jessicaSunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm
              lol guys
              • youtube guyTuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:27 am
                it is delishis
                • rainbowunicorn
                  rainbowunicornSaturday, November 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm
                  could they make candy healthy so I can eat it all I like?
                  • Headream100Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm
                    Huh okay cool learned boring stuff but cool anyway
                    • DanielSaturday, March 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm
                      The picture looks nasty.
                      • akaneoncityligh
                        akaneoncitylighWednesday, March 27, 2013 at 10:38 am
                        Umm is it odd to have strawberries with salt? Cuz other people eat it with sugar.

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