Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Vegetables
AVEBE, BASF Plant Science take next step


April 20, 2011
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

April 19, 2011 – The
potato starch manufacturer AVEBE and the plant biotechnology company BASF Plant
Science recently confirmed the next step in their cooperation to develop
genetically enhanced amylopectin starch potatoes.

April 19, 2011 – The
potato starch manufacturer AVEBE and the plant biotechnology company BASF Plant
Science
recently confirmed the next step in their cooperation to develop
genetically enhanced amylopectin starch potatoes.

BASF Plant Science assumes
ownership for the genetically enhanced amylopectin starch potato Modena. Modena
was developed by AVEBE and is currently in the approval process for commercial
use in Europe.

Advertisment

“Through the cooperation
with BASF Plant Science, AVEBE will be able to enhance the commercialization of
its plant biotechnology knowledge,” said Gerben Meursing, managing director of
commerce from AVEBE . “The potential of the positive environmental impact during
cultivation will be better accessible, with genetically enhanced varieties
leading to higher yields per acre. This step is beneficial for our stakeholders
in the potato starch value chain.”

“This decision is a
logical next step within our cooperation with AVEBE ,” said Marc Ehrhardt,
senior vice president of BASF Plant Science. “Modena is an innovative and
competitive variety, which complements our existing portfolio of amylopectin
starch potatoes perfectly. Modena will make a contribution to strengthen the
competitiveness of the European starch potato farmers, because it will make
amylopectin potato starch more broadly available for the entire industry.”

In December 2010, both
companies already announced the plan to bundle their competencies for the
development of amylopectin starch potatoes. The cooperation started with the
development of a late blight resistant amylopectin starch potato. Late blight
is a serious problem in potato farming in Europe.

Conventional potatoes
produce a mixture of amylopectin and amylose starch. For many technical
applications, such as in the paper, textile and adhesives industries, pure
amylopectin starch is preferred. Separating the two starch components is
uneconomical and environmentally unfriendly. After having “switched off” the
gene for the production of amylose, the amylopectin starch potatoes produce
pure amylopectin starch and thus help to save resources, energy and costs.