cereal ancestors encounter gene technology and designer enzymes
The importance of cereal starch production worldwide cannot be overrated. However, the qualities and resulting values of existing raw and processed starch do not fully meet future demands for environmentally friendly production of renewable, advanced biomaterials, functional foods and biomedical additives. New approaches for starch bioengineering are needed. In this review we discuss cereal starch from a combined universal bioresource point of view. The combination of new biotechniques and clean tech methods can be implemented to replace e.g. chemical modification. The recently released cereal genomes and the exploding advancement in whole genome sequencing now paves the road for identifying new genes to be exploited to generate a multitude of completely new starch functionalities directly in the cereal grain converting cereal crops to production plants. Newly released genome data from cereal ancestors can potentially allow for the re-introduction of cereal traits including e.g. health-promoting carbohydrates that may have been lost during domestication. Raw materials produced in this manner can be processed by clean enzyme-assisted techniques or thermal treatment in combinations to further functionalize or stabilize the starch polymers. Importantly, such products can be multifunctional in the sense of combined food/material or food/pharma purposes e.g. edible plastics, shape memory materials and cycloamylose carriers and stabilizers for diverse bioactives.
Cereal Chemistry, 2013, Vol 90, Issue 4, p. 274-287