• Open Access

Production of tailor-made fructans in sugar beet by expression of onion fructosyltransferase genes


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The consumption of fructans as a low caloric food ingredient or dietary fibre is rapidly increasing due to health benefits. Presently, the most important fructan source is chicory, but these fructans have a simple linear structure and are prone to degradation. Additional sources of high-quality tailor-made fructans would provide novel opportunities for their use as food ingredients. Sugar beet is a highly productive crop that does not normally synthesize fructans. We have introduced specific onion fructosyltransferases into sugar beet. This resulted in an efficient conversion of sucrose into complex, onion-type fructans, without the loss of storage carbohydrate content.