Chefs and nutrition-conscious salad lovers will now be able to select leafy greens that have unique flavors and enhanced nutrition, thanks to CRISPR technology.
Food startup Pairwise launched its inaugural product, Conscious Greens, which are derived from “nutritiously rich mustard greens and are part of the same family of vegetables as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale,” according to a release. The Conscious Greens Purple Power Baby Greens Blend, which will be co-branded with Performance Food Group’s Peak Fresh Produce brand, is the first food introduced in the U.S. that was developed with CRISPR technology.
CRISPR is a gene editing technique that changes the DNA of a plant, bush, or tree, to bring out desired characteristics and reduce or eliminate undesired characteristics. This process does what conventional crossbreeding could do, but in much less time.
All Conscious Foods products are reviewed by the USDA before entering the market and meet or exceed all FDA and state food safety laws and regulations.
“Using CRISPR, we’ve been able to improve new types of nutritious greens to make them more desirable for consumers, and we did it in a quarter of the time of traditional breeding methods,” said Haven Baker, Pairwise Co-founder and Chief Business Officer.
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“Launching Conscious Greens through this exciting partnership with PFG, is a major milestone in achieving our mission to build a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables,” he added.
The blend is now available in select restaurants and the PFG network, including locations in Springfield, Mass., Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis. The company will be shipping to U.S. grocery stores later this year, as part of a broader Conscious Foods portfolio of produce developed with CRISPR technology.
In addition to Conscious Greens, the firm is also working on other innovative vegetable products, as well as seedless blackberries, black raspberries, and red raspberries, and pitless cherries.
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