Genetically modified foods are derived from living things that have had special alterations injected into their DNA by genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the creation of new qualities including and more control over a food’s genetic structure than previously were carried out by selective breeding and mutation breeding. Most scientists agree that foods created from genetically modified crops are mostly safe for human consumption just like ordinary food. Read the custom essay provided by Essay Demon further to learn more about the topic.
However, opponents have objected to genetically modified foods for many reasons including safety issues, environmental concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that GM seeds and animals that are food sources must be subject to intellectual property rights owned by corporations.
Genetically modified food is a branch of food science in which modern food biotechnology is not new but dates back thousands of years to the time of the Sumerians and Babylonians who used yeast to make fermented beverages such as beer. The uses of plant enzymes such as malts were also used millennia ago before there was even an understanding of enzymes. Rapid progress in food biotechnology occurred with the invention of the microscope by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, which allowed humans to discover microorganisms that would be used in food production. However, most recently Scientists discovered in 1946 that DNA can transfer between organisms.
In 1994, the transgenic Flavr Savr tomato was approved by the FDA for marketing in the US. The modification allowed the tomato to delay ripening after picking. Genetically engineered plants are raised in a laboratory by altering their genetic makeup and are then tested in the laboratory for required specifications. This is usually done by adding one or more genes to a plant’s set of chromosomes with the application of genetic engineering techniques. Most genetically modified plants can be modified by cloning or gene subtraction Plants are also modified for insect resistance, fungal resistance, viral resistance, herbicide resistance, changed nutritional content, improved taste, and improved storage. Once satisfactory plants are produced, sufficient seeds are gathered, and the companies producing the seed need to apply for regulatory approval to field-test the seeds.
Food science and food biotechnology were created to include the enzymes for chemical conversion into simpler substances and absorption of foods. This discovery enabled further technological development of enzymes. Typical industrial enzymes were used on the plant and animal extracts, but they were later replaced by microbial enzymes. An example is the use of chymosin in the production of cheese. The cheese had typically been made using the enzyme rennet extracted from cows’ stomach lining. Scientists began using recombinant chymosin for milk clotting, which produced cheese curds. Food enzyme production using microbial enzymes was the first application of genetically modified organisms in food production. Food biotechnology has progressed to the cloning of plants and animals, as well as greater expansion in genetically modified foods in recent years.