Step closer to boosting fruit with vitamin C – FreshPlaza
Working with kiwi fruit, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology identified how the fruit makes and regulates the level of vitamin C within its cells.
Agricultural biotechnology Professor Roger Hellens said the findings could ultimately help plant breeders understand how to turn low vitamin C crops, such as bananas, into high ones.
“Vitamin C is very important to plants. It helps them in times of stress,” Professor Hellens said.
“So changing the level of vitamin C in a plant might make them more resistance to drought, for instance. But really our main drive is trying to increase the level in the fruit that we eat. That’s because vitamin c is very important…with a range of important contributions to our diet. One of the most important is its ability to increase the bio-availability of iron in our diet.”
Professor Hellens said more research was needed to understand why some fruits had high levels of vitamin C and others did not.
“Kiwi fruits are high [in vitamin C], but there’s lots of others fruits, like tomatoes, apples and bananas, which are actually quite low in vitamin C but they are very popular commodity fruits that people eat all the time,” she said.
“If we believe that increasing vitamin C in our diets has some health benefits, wouldn’t it be great to increase the level of vitamin C in some of the fruits and vegetables that we eat on a really regular basis?”
Publication date: 7/13/2015