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Could Glowing Plants Lead to Glowing Foods?

By FDL on

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Could Glowing Plants Lead to Glowing Foods?
Photo Dan Saunders

Are we really looking at a future where our carrots could one day sit peculiarly glowing on the plate in front of us? Luminescent beetroots or potatoes with the capacity to double as candles should the power cut out during the second course of our glowing vegetable dinner parties.

If the glowing plants above are anything to go by, the answer to this question could well be yes. The Starlight Avatar is a plant that has been genetically modified by to give off a luminescent glow from within.

The biology behind the project was developed by Bioglow. The  biotech company researched techniques into isolating the cells responsible for making bioluminescent mechanisms such as fireflies, glowworms, bobtail squids, deep-sea anglerfish and bacteria naturally glow.

To make the Starlight Avatar the light-emitting pathways found in marine bacteria are mixed with the plant's chloroplast genome. The plant takes on the qualities of the pathways - emitting its own glow from within its structure.

Bioglow have now made the glowing plant commercially available for the home but with a limited number on offer they will be selling the first batch of 20 by a special online auction. The company say they are now working on new varieties of glowing plants and hope to one day develop a plant that glows so brightly it be used as a valid alternative source of light.

The answer of whether something like this could make its way into the food industry? Yes, in November 2013 British ice cream maker Charlie Francis launched a glowing ice cream made using special proteins from jellyfish.



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