- Kevin Folta, an interim chairman of horticulture at the University of Florida, is working with colleagues to improve strawberry flavors and smells.
- His groups is looking at the methyl anthranilate molecule, which is responsible for sweetness and not typically found in commercially cultivated strawberries.
- Their research involves studying the genetic code of the wild woodland strawberry, which does produce the desired flavor, and better-tasting berries may be commercially available as the result of breeding if the team is successful.
From the article:
"... To identify the genes and biochemistry responsible for this flavor compound, Folta and his colleaguesare tweaking the wild berry’s genetic code, removing the suspect genes or prompting them to become unusually active, to see how production of the compound is affected. They have also attempted to move the flavor-producing trait into the commercial berries by breeding them with wild strawberries. ..."