Durham, North Carolina

Pairwise: US food tech start-up is close to marketing leafy greens

At Pairwise, a food tech company in Durham that uses gene-editing tools to accelerate innovation in fruits and vegetables, they have something in the works that they hope will inspire many, many new consumers to taste their leafy greens in the near future.

Pairwise has developed new varieties of Brassica juncea, a leafy green that is part of the same family of vegetables as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. With the genome-editing technology known as CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), Pairwise has leveraged good traits of Brassica juncea such as its high nutrient density and natural resistance to pests and diminished its less-favorable traits such as its pungent flavor.

Wraltechwire.com quoted Heather Hudson, head of commercial at Pairwise, as saying: “We have taken the heat of Brassica juncea down a notch with our new varieties. And instead, we’ve created new leafy greens that have mild, crunchy, fresh flavors.” Hudson points out that the nutrition profiles of the new greens are superior to those they could substitute for in a salad such as spinach or romaine.

Pairwise is on a mission to dramatically increase fruit and vegetable consumption by providing consumers with new varieties that are both appealing and full of nutrients. CRISPR technology enables Pairwise scientists to create innovative products, such as the new leafy greens, that will make their supermarket debut in the next couple of years.

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