When the world’s most protein-rich plant turns 50
Scientists have found a way to make the protein in the common potato more bioavailable, a breakthrough that could pave the way for a more bio-friendly protein diet.
The potato is widely considered to be the world ‘s most bioavailable plant protein, but scientists have struggled to find a way of making it more bioaccessible, or more digestible.
A new study, published in the journal Science Advances, found that the common vegetable protein, which is made by the starch cellulose, can absorb more nutrients than other common plants.
This has led to the development of the world s most bio-available protein, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“In a nutshell, the new finding shows that the starch in common potato starch can absorb the nutrients that other plants require, like water and phosphorus, which are needed for growth and growth-promoting processes,” said the paper’s lead author, Roberta P. Kneebone, a plant biologist and plant pathologist at the university.
“It’s a major achievement.”
Kneebonese researchers have been looking for ways to make cellulose more bioactive.
They have been experimenting with different ways to increase its bioavailability, which has traditionally been limited by its lack of bioactivity.
“There have been many studies showing that plant bioactivity can be limited by the amount of starch that you can get through the process of cellulose degradation,” said Kneebe.
“So we wanted to find out if there were other ways that we could improve cellulose bioavailability.”
To do this, Knebe and her colleagues used a different type of protein, known as a polysaccharide, called polysacrosphere phosphatase.
This type of enzyme can degrade cellulose molecules and convert them to different types of sugars that can be used by plants for energy, nutrients and other functions.
“Polysaccharides are the building blocks of the food chain,” Kneepone said.
“They are the key building blocks for many of the plant cell membranes, for instance, and the building block of many proteins in the body.”
The polysacchylase enzyme in common potatoes can degrade up to 40 different types and sugars.
“When we added this enzyme to the polysac-saccharidase pathway, we were able to improve the cellulose digestibility and the bioavailability of the potato by as much as 40 percent,” she said.
The researchers found that adding the enzyme increased the starch’s ability to absorb nutrients by up to 20 percent.
The addition of the enzyme also increased the plant’s ability and ability to store more protein in its cells.
This increase in cellulose absorption made the potato more digestibly, and it also made the plant more biocapable.
“There is some indication that we can actually make it more digestable and bioavailable,” Kunebe said.
While the new discovery could be a breakthrough in the field of bioavailability and bioavailability enhancers, Kunebone said she is still not certain that the new enzyme is a “game-changer.”
“There are so many other things that we have to do, and there are a lot of other proteins that have been studied that are not bioavailable like starch, and so that enzyme is just the first step in that direction,” Kinebone explained.
“We will have to see how it works.”