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Nat Biotechnol. 2002 Mar;20(3):295-9.

Production of a freeze-thaw-stable potato starch by antisense inhibition of three starch synthase genes.

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Unilever Research, Colworth House, Sharnbrook, Bedford MK44 1LQ, UK.


The use of unmodified starches in frozen foods is severely limited by the undesirable textural changes that occur after freezing and thawing. Retrogradation of glucan chains leads to syneresis, a separation of the starch gel and water phases. Stabilization of the starch structure is normally achieved by chemical modification to prevent these changes from occurring. We have now created a freeze-thaw-stable potato starch by alteration of starch composition and structure by genetic modification. An amylose-free starch with short-chain amylopectin was produced by simultaneous antisense downregulation of three starch synthase genes. This starch is extremely freeze-thaw-stable and shows no syneresis even after five freeze-thaw cycles. The use of this starch has potential for environmental and consumer benefits because its production requires no chemical modification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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