Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Sweet Potato

The natural sweetener in your soft drink or chocolate bar could soon come from an unlikely source: potatoes. Researchers at the University of Picardie Jules Verne in Amiens, France, have genetically modified potatoes to multiply their fructose production about 40 times. The team inserted three bacterial genes into the potato’s DNA, each gene coding for a different enzyme involved in converting starch to fructose.

Most fructose is made today by adding vast quantities of enzymes to large chemical tanks of corn. But the genetically modified potatoes turn starch into fructose inside the vegetable. This makes for a much more efficient and economical process, says Rajbir Sangwan, the plant scientist who led the project. A number of food-processing companies in Europe have expressed interest in using the French technology. But Sangwan says it could be another three to five years before the potatoes are ready for the food industry.


0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me