Scientists release the DNA of chocolate

September 17th, 2010 - 8:08 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Sep 17 (THAINDIAN NEWS) After a long and tedious research, scientists have been rewarded with an initial map denoting the DNA of the cocoa plant which is used in the manufacture of chocolate. The quest to seek the DNA of the cocoa tree was made possible as a result of sponsorship funds supplied by confectionery manufacturer Mars Inc.

The project was expected to last five years but the researchers were able get it done in 2 years. The candy manufacturing giant of Snickers, M&Ms, etc. got interested in the research because it hoped benefits such as better quality and more fruitful cocoa trees will be developed in future. Mars Inc also hopes future cocoa plants will find it easier to survive from diseases and tough environmental conditions such as droughts.

It is believed that 3 million tons of cocoa beans get on the market every year and most of these beans are cultivated in non-commercial farms. Farmers are believed to lose about $700 million to $800 million every year due to the effects of pests and diseases.

The project is expected to cost Mars about $10 million when it’s finally completed. The project team involved US Agriculture Dept. Officials as well as those of IBM and University researchers in the US.

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