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Feb 13, 2017 08:25 AM EST

Quinoa Genetically Modified: Benefits Of GM Grain Can Feed The World, Says Brigham Young University Researchers

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Quinoa is a flowering plan that is mostly found in the regions of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile - mostly from Central and Southern America. The grain has become popular in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China and Japan where it is not typically grown, increasing its crop value.

A grain such as quinoa is gluten-free and high in protein. It is considered to be one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. Aside from being rich in fiber and vitamins and popular, it is not easy to grow anywhere.

Which is why researchers from Brigham Young University have coauthored a study that looks into quinoa being used in a widespread platform. The possibility behind the crop culture of quinoa boils down to the grain's genome sequence. Because the grain cannot grow everywhere, Rick Jellen and Jeff Maughan, BYU plant sciences experts, along with their students Aaron Sharp and Ryan Rupper, have found that if the genome sequence is modified, it can be grown widespread, maximize its commercial use and open up production in low-altitude environments, as reported by Herald Extra.

These BYU researchers are excited about the possibility of quinoa as a diverse grain that can feed billions of people, as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune. But will it hurt Andea countries? While the goal of these quinoa researchers is to feed a malnourished world, it may hurt the food industry and market.

The goal to make quinoa as an affordable alternative may hurt the farmers and industries coming from Bolivia and Peru, for example. The Brigham Young University team explains that quinoa is a food inheritance. They consider food as a basic human right and since there is a possibility that the grain can grown in different soil types, they are looking at the long term benefit of quinoa.

Maughan says that if it comes to a point that another five billion people are added to the planet, quinoa may just rescue food shortage concerns. Watch the video below of Joseph Simcox interviewing Rick Jellen Geneticist of BYU and Laurie Scanlin Food Scientist about the origin, potential and nutritional aspects of what is becoming a very promising world grain crop:

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