Fake Grape and Vanilla-Burping Yeast

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So what country is going to become the Mycogen Sector of Earth?


Seems like yeast is set to have a really good year!


Makes me think of the restaurant scene in Brazil - if I wasn’t at work I would search up a clip.

Fake grape doesn’t surprise me, though it is an interesting task/execution. Alcohol esters don’t sound like a stretch, considering plenty of beers are created with estery flavor profiles.

That was my first thought.

Hopefully without the freaky hairlessness, although we could probably do with a Renegade of our own…

Edit: realized we have one on the BBS. Paging @daneel:wink:


Ok, so “natural flavors” now = “artificial flavors.” Super.


Nothing has changed really. If you started with corn, and processed it with a dozen toxic chemicals to make it taste like avocado then you could call it “Natural Flavor” since it was a plant to start with.

Long before the term “Artificial Flavor” existed we had been using chemicals to extract and process flavors found in plants and animals. Often times to produce flavors that didn’t really exist previously.

There is nothing in the names “Natural Flavor” vs “Artificial Flavor” that tells anyone anything important. For any given flavor compound that can be produced from a “natural” process or an “artificial” process there is no telling which one has worse environmental impacts, which produces more toxic byproducts, and which results in a safer final compound with fewer contaminants.



Just eat unprocessed whole foods.

Any time you buy packaged goods, you’re going to get varying levels of crap. Stop complaining and take control over your diet if you actually care.


So let’s say that they manage to make chemicals that simulate the taste and aroma of bacon and use that to make soy bacon or veggie bacon taste and smell almost indistinguishable from the real thing. According to the nutritional label on that product, 2 strips of that particular brand of veggie bacon have 60 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

Searching Google for “bacon nutrition facts” gives a nutritional array of 43 calories and 3.3 grams of fat … for ONE slice. As long as the amount of that chemical they use adds less than 26 calories and 2.1 grams of fat to the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bacon” the artificial stuff will be healthier (at least according to those two criteria) than the real stuff.

Humanity has been eating “genetically modified” products for a long time now. In the past it was mostly indirectly modified (through selecting breeding, like bananas or chicken) trial-and-error. Now we can make targeted changes.


Yeast are the future of morphine, too, from what I hear.

Being a beer drinker, and someone who used to love ‘blue raspberry’ sodas, I have a hard time thinking yeast waste is any worse that beaver butt gland juice…

Edit to more clearly attribute quote to wikipedia.

How does funny smelling yeast lead to that? How possibly?


As though selective breeding and transgenic modification are the same?

Is it that you think we’re stupid? Or is your worldview actually that misinformed?

It’s clear that Steve does see the difference: selective breeding relies on random mutation, transgenic manipulation is targeted. I remember a passage in /The Whole Earth Discipline/ that claimed that there hasn’t been a recorded case of a food allergy caused by a genetic modified crop, but food allergies often result from new “natural” crops (kiwi fruit was the example given). I’m not sure how far I would trust that claim, and I’m not in a position to do the research required to verify it, but it doesn’t instantly trip my bullshit detectors either.

Incidentally, was I the only one who read this story and thought, “cool, I’m living in the future”?

On a related note, I would love a version of organic labelling that allowed for GM (perhaps also tracking the kinds of modifications made, rather than lumping them all together).


People have been working on a cheaper source of vanillin for many decades, in fact it’s been something of a Holy Grail for food scientists. If someone is upset that people are working on this, well that bus left the station about 30 years ago.


I’m looking forward to yeast synthesized grape flavored morphine


If you believe there is a vast difference between the two, yes. Transgenic modification is a natural process.


[quote=“AcerPlatanoides, post:16, topic:57889, full:true”]

As though selective breeding and transgenic modification are the same?[/quote]

No, they’re not. There are ethical and safety considerations that need to be taken into account, but given how much more carefully genetic manipulation in a laboratory can be controlled than “natural” reproduction and how “low-level” an organism yeast is, as long as we take the time to develop proper procedures and testing of these “spices” and the yeasts that generate them I suspect they’ll be safe by the time they become available on the market, in restaurants and on store shelves.

The abuse department is down the hall and around the corner to the left. This is the civilized discussion department. The argument department is next door, if you want to get a little uncivilized.

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Anyone have the proper URL? as the post link is a 404…