New Zealand dairy company Fonterra has been given permission to genetically engineer fruit enzymes into bacteria and yeast to try to produce "novel and desirable flavours" for dairy products.
A range of small-scale government-funded experiments designed to prove that new flavours can be discovered by engineering fruit DNA will be conducted at a laboratory in New Zealand. The hope is that the project will lead to a range of interesting new flavours for the milk industry.
The tests will focus on three organisms and six dairy bacteria strains commonly used for experiments by molecular biologists. They will be engineered with DNA from fruits such as apples, blueberries and kiwis.
In the past, Fonterra has received criticism for marketing American-produced milk that contains a genetically engineered hormone. Critics claimed that this marketing was damaging New Zealand's "clean-green" brand image. The GM trials backed by the New Zealand government will not be taste-tested at this stage, said the company.