The researchers have identified for the first time how the enzyme that produces phytate works, by solving the molecular structure of the protein IP5 2-kinase. Because many animals are unable to digest the phytate present in their feed, the phytate phosphorus is transferred to the soil in manure, leading to the pollution of waterways.
inform July 2010, Vol. 21 (7) 399 The project included the use of four Victor Raboy, a crop geneticist at the laboratories: AgbioLab, the USDA-Agri- US Department of Agriculture, commented: cultural Marketing Services lab in Blakely, “Understanding this unique aspect of inositol Georgia; SGS Labs in Louisiana and the phosphate chemistry has broad significance Wagga Wagga laboratory in Australia. When not only for plant biology and agriculture the first survey is completed, COOC plans but also for nonplant eukaryotic cellular to apply for a second technical grant to con- metabolism and signal transduction. tinue the work. “For example, it will also enhance our COOC credits Bruce Golino, chair of understanding of how yeast, slime molds, the COOC Standards Committee, for over- and fruit flies function, and potentially could seeing the project. have future importance in understanding human disease and in designing therapies.” Final piece in FDA seeks phytate puzzle comment discovered? The US Food and Drug Administration A team of scientists in Spain and the United (FDA) wants comments and informa- Kingdom have identified what they say is tion from the public and “other interested the “final piece in the jigsaw of how phytate parties” about front-of-package nutrition is produced in plants.” labeling and on shelf tags in retail stores.” Published online in the Proceedings of The comment deadline is July 28, 2010. the National Academy of Sciences (10.1073/ The agency wants to understand how pnas.0912979107), the breakthrough dis- to enhance the usefulness to consum- covery by the Consejo Superior de Investi- ers of point-of-purchase nutrition infor- gaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in Madrid and mation. This includes information on the the University of East Anglia (UEA) has main display panel of food products, called implications for agribusiness, the environ- “front-of-pack” labeling, as well as informa- ment, and human health. tion on shelf tags in retail stores. Phytate is a naturally-occurring phos- The FDA is seeking to learn more phate deposit that accumulates in the about: n ■The extent to which consumers notice, seeds, beans, and tubers of many crops. The researchers have identified for the first use, and understand nutrition symbols
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