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DNA PLANT AWARDED U.S. PATENT FOR ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN

 DNA PLANT AWARDED U.S. PATENT FOR ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN
 CINNAMINSON, N.J., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA Plant Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: DNAP) today announced that it has received U.S. patent no. 5,118,792 for antifreeze proteins with specified properties related to the suppression of ice crystal growth.
 "DNAP is pursuing opportunities for application of antifreeze proteins for enhancing the quality of frozen foods in three distinct product areas: to preserve the qualities of fresh produce through the freeze/thaw process; as an ingredient to preserve the creamy texture in frozen desserts; and as a strategy to extend shelf-life of frozen doughs," said Dr. John Bedbrook, DNAP executive vice president and director of science.
 The antifreeze proteins synthesized by DNAP are similar in structure to naturally-occurring proteins which protect certain organisms against freezing. Antifreeze proteins work by binding to the surface of seed ice crystals, inhibiting their growth.
 "All fruits and vegetables suffer a deterioration in flavor and texture when subjected to the rigors of the freeze/thaw cycle," said Bedbrook. "By introducing the ability to inhibit ice recrystallization in fruits and vegetables, we can significantly improve the quality of frozen foods." In 1991, DNAP successfully field-trialed tomatoes which had been genetically engineered to express the antifreeze protein.
 "The second application for antifreeze proteins is as an additive to maintain consistent texture in frozen desserts. The antifreeze peptides synthesized at DNAP, effective at extremely low concentrations, were found to prevent the growth of ice crystals which result in an undesirable grainy texture in stored ice cream, ice milk, and other frozen dessert formulations," Bedbrook said. "The growth of ice crystals is the principal determinant of texture and flavor deterioration in frozen dessert products."
 "The third target is the use of the antifreeze protein as an ingredient to extend the shelf-life and quality of frozen doughs. Freeze/thaw cycles reduce the leavening capacity of doughs by destroying the dough structure and reducing the viability of yeast. We have engineered yeast to better survive through freezing and thawing."
 The patent is the first in DNAP's patent portfolio relating to the use of antifreeze protein technology. U.S. and foreign patent filings covering antifreeze proteins and their use in food and plants, as well as yeast transformed to produce antifreeze proteins, are pending. DNAP is collaborating with major players in the food industry to assess the commercial applications of antifreeze proteins.
 DNAP is a leading agricultural biotechnology company, applying a spectrum of technologies to develop and commercialize plant-based products, agricultural and environmental diagnostics, and ice modification products and processes for industrial and consumer markets. The company has three operating joint ventures -- FreshWorld, InterMountain Canola Company and Agri-Diagnostics Associates.
 -0- 6/8/92
 /CONTACT: Dr. John Bedbrook of DNA Plant Technology, 510-547-2395, or Fredric Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for DNA Plant Technology Corporation/
 (DNAP) CO: DNA Plant Technology Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:


TQ -- NY015 -- 7780 06/08/92 09:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1992
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