banner
corn crops

The world’s population is projected to expand to more than 10 billion people by the year 2050. Experts say that the rate of food production must increase significantly to feed all of those people. British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.

During photosynthesis, plants, algae, and certain microorganisms take in sunlight, water, minerals, and carbon dioxide to create glucose and oxygen. Plants release the oxygen into the atmosphere but use the glucose as energy to grow. The more glucose plants produce, the more they grow, which increases their yield. In a recent study published in Nature, scientists at the University of Sheffield made new revelations about a compound in plants that is vital to maximizing the benefits of photosynthesis: cytochrome b6f.

With the aid of single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, the researchers determined that cytochrome b6f supplies the electrical power that allows two light-powered proteins (chlorophylls) to convert sunlight into chemical energy (glucose). They also found that cytochrome b6f acts as a sensor to scale photosynthesis according to environmental conditions. This ability prevents plants from suffering too much damage when exposed to excess energy from the sun (e.g., during droughts).

Previous research had demonstrated that manipulating the level of cytochrome b6f in a plant can affect how much the plant grows. The University of Sheffield researchers hope to use their new findings to manipulate photosynthesis in plants and help increase crop yields in the future.

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

A new approach to reducing salt while maintaining taste

The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.

Sucralose–carbohydrate combo may affect insulin sensitivity

A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).

Manipulating photosynthesis for food security

British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.

New rapid tests for botulinum toxin

In the food industry, botulinum toxin is associated with a severe form of food poisoning caused by improperly preserved food. Researchers have developed a technology that addresses the role of botulinum toxin in both food and cosmetic applications.

More from IFT right arrow

Home Cooking During COVID-19

With the commencement of stay-at-home orders, 88% of consumers are preparing more meals at home. Here’s a look at their habits.

Robot chef prepares tasty omelet; Transforming the food chain

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends.

Immunity on the Mind

Kerry Global Consumer Survey – Digestive & Immune Health, 2019

A Bountiful Array of Beneficial Ingredients

A round-up of innovative nutraceutical products available from suppliers.

Improving Spinach Juice Safety and Quality; Child Food Insecurity to Rise Due to COVID-19

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends.

Latest News right arrow

Targeted taxes, school lunch policies may benefit low-income populations

Targeted taxes on sweetened beverages and policies that strengthen nutritional standards for meals and beverages at schools may be effective tools for decreasing the purchase of sweetened drinks and reducing obesity among children living in poverty, according to two studies.

FAO predicts a global shortage of protein-rich foods

According to the Cornell Alliance for Science, a new report out from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts there will be a global shortage of protein-rich foods this year due to COVID-19 and other factors.

How consumers think about dietary fats and oils

According to a new survey of 1,000 American adults conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), change in healthfulness perceptions of dietary fats is mixed.

Preventing the next pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a new report warns that further outbreaks will emerge unless governments take active measures to prevent other zoonotic diseases from crossing into the human population and sets out recommendations to prevent future pandemics.

Bunge Loders Croklaan to open Creative Studio in Turkey

As part of its focus on Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa, Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC), a leader in edible oils and fats, is expanding its worldwide innovation network with its first Creative Studio in the region.