The Chocolate Code Revealed
Recently, scientists finished a study mapping the genetic code of Theobroma cacao, or the plant that chocolate is made from. Annually over 3.7 million tons of cacao is produced. However over a third of that is lost to pests and diseases, but this breakthrough should help prevent destruction of harvests. By mapping the "chocolate genome" scientists, have the ability to help nature choose the strongest strains of the plant and help engineer trees that are resistant to the insects, pests and diseases that plague harvest and production today.
“This will help guarantee a sustainable future for cocoa for the farmers, the consumers and Mars Inc.,” Howard-Yana Shapiro, the head of plant research at Mars, told the New York Times.
Aside from the crop-cultivation benefits, the mapping of the chocolate genome could also lead to better tasting and higher quality chocolate. It could also lead to an increase in the amount of flavonols, chocolate's antioxidants, naturally occurring in each serving of everyone's favorite treat.