PoLoPo, a molecular company based out of Israel, is trying to get USDA approval for a new kind of potato plant that manufactures target proteins in the plant and stores them in the tube, according to the company.

If granted USDA regulatory approval, the company says it will be looking for U.S. partners to cultivate its genetically engineered potato plants that produce tubers with egg protein.

Essentially, it is turning the potato plant into a micro-biofactory derived from proprietary metabolic engineering techniques.

Once tubers are harvested, their proteins are extracted and dried into a powder that integrates into current food processing lines and formulations. While derived from genetically engineered plants, the resulting protein powder contains no genetic material and is considered non-GMO.

PoLoPo says the platform presents an affordable alternative to an industry reeling from increased egg prices, supply chain instability and avian flu outbreaks.

An application for regulatory status review has been submitted to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the first step toward regulatory approval for its SuperAA platform.

USDA will determine if PoLoPo’s platform poses no agricultural or pest risk compared to traditional potato growing.

The company is expecting approval in about six months.

“This is an important milestone for molecular farming, as well as for PoLoPo, to establish safety and clearance to begin growing GMO plants,” PoLoPo CEO Maya Sapir-Mir says. “The production of ovalbumin in plants, not animals, will transform food processing with a price- and supply chain-stable option and set off a domino effect on sustainability, a big first step toward changing our food industry.”

Source: PoLoPo



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