The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead for the strain of pineapple genetically engineered to be pink, which was found to be “safe and nutritious.”
In the Philippines, the crop science industry said this was an “interesting new development in GM (genetically modified) pineapple.”
The Philippines is considered a top exporter of juice concentrate and pineapple juice.
It was gathered that instead of its conventional yellow flesh, the GM pineapple made by the Del Monte Fresh Produce, had its genes toned down to keep the flesh of the fruit pinker.
The US-FDA in a report confirmed that del Monte submitted information to the agency to demonstrate the pink flesh pineapple is safe and nutritious as its conventional counterparts.
“(Del Monte’s) new pineapples has been genetically engineered to produce lower levels of enzymes already in conventional pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed,” the US-FDA said.
Initially, the pineapples will be grown in Costa Rica, with Del Monte labeling it as “extra sweet pink fresh pineapple.”
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics has noted that the country has existing pineapple production area of 58,457 hectares, producing a volume of 2,246,806 metric tons in 2011.
Apart from Del Monte, there were noted continuous increases in area harvested of pineapple from Lapanday, Asian Hybrid, Mt. Kitanglad Agricultural Development, Davao Dentures Corp and Dole in Bukidnon.
There were also increases in area planted and harvested in the Bicol and Socsargen regions, considering the high demand for the product.
The Philippines is also considered second to Thailand in terms of processing, with 85 per cent of the processing belonging to multinational companies like Del Monte and Dole. PNA