The researchers compared genetically modified Desiree potatoes, which have a very high level of the polysaccharide inulin, with five conventional varieties. Inulin is a sugar in the class of fructans, i.e. polysaccharides, composed of fructose (fruit sugar). The normal starch is made of glucose. Nutritionally, fructans are classed as fiber and have a beneficial effect on human intestinal flora.
The main results of the study showed that substances in the Agria, Desiree, Granola, Linda and Solara varieties exhibit a surprising range of variation. The genetically modified lines from the Desiree variety lie within the same of range of variation as the five conventional varieties. The exception is the higher content of inulin polysaccharides. There was no evidence of any new, unexpected substances.
Inulin is a polysaccharide that is formed as a storage molecule in many plants such as chicory, artichokes and dandelions. Two different genes for the formation of inulin sugars were introduced into the potato as these polysaccharides have a beneficial effect on human intestinal flora and are therefore a very desirable nutritional component. Potatoes containing inulin were developed at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam as early as 2000. The properties of these new fructan potatoes were investigated from 2001 to 2004 by the r