(OrganicJar) For those too busy to eat their five a day, help is at hand. Scientists have developed a pepper that contains more vitamins and antioxidants than any other variety. Just one ACE pepper – named after the vitamins it is rich in – contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and half that of A and E.
Super Veg: The new ACE red pepper (right) contains three key vitamins and is much darker than a normal pepper.
Ordinary varieties do contain high levels of vitamins C and A. But scientists have never before grown one with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help guard against cancer. This is because it is fat soluble and usually only found in fatty foods such as nuts and avocado.
The ACE pepper was discovered in Israel then developed by Marks & Spencer in Waltham Cross, Essex, where it is grown without pesticides.
Dr Simon Coupe, a fresh-produce technologist for M&S, predicts the vegetable will supersede other peppers in the future. He said: ‘We spend a lot of time and effort roaming the world trying to find new and inventive products.
‘I would hope that in years to come we’d only be seeing this pepper as people become more healthy by boosting their vitamin levels. This is one of our healthiest products and it still tastes great, so I’m sure our customers will like it.’
M&S pepper specialist George Hebditch added: ‘It is fantastic to have developed a vegetable capable of supplying all the vitamin A,C and E we need for one day. ACE peppers have a lovely, sweet flavour as well as being extremely good for you.
‘As people become more health conscious, demand for fruit and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals has soared. We fully expect ACE peppers to be a hit with customers.’
But Sue Baic from the British Dietetic Association, warned the peppers should not be seen as a ‘magic bullet’. She said: ‘People should be aware you need to eat a range of fruit and vegetables in order to have a healthy diet.’
The Difference Between Hybrid and Genetically Modified
Plant breeders cross breed compatible types of plants in an effort to create a plant with the best features of both parents. These are called hybrids and many of our modern plants are the results of these crosses.
While plants can cross-pollinate in nature and hybrids repeatedly selected and grown may eventually stabilize, many hybrid seeds are relatively new crosses and seed from these hybrids will not produce plants with identical qualities.
Hybrids should not be confused with genetically modified organisms or (GMOs) which, can be any plant, animal or microorganism which have been genetically altered using molecular genetics techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering.
Is The ACE Pepper Genetically Modified?
I honestly don’t know. I spent hours of researching and to the best of my knowledge I would say it’s a hybrid. I sent Marks & Spencer an email, but have yet to hear back from them so I’ll keep you posted.
Leave a Comment and Tell Us If You Think This Is A GMO?
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