WINE (Flavoured)

Synonyms
Vanilla
grapes
resveratrol
Current Status
UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Engineered Organism
Further Notes
Last summer, Isak Pretorius, Vice Chancellor of Macquarie University in Australia and a specialist in plant and wine biotechnology, wrote a review of the yeast that sparks wine fermentation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeast was the first organism to function with a completely synthetic chromosome. This year, wine yeast was engineered to express a synthetic metabolic pathway to synthesize a raspberry ketone aroma, 4-[4-hydroxyphenyl]butan-2-one. Other synthetic pathways could create vanillin (part of oak-aged red wines), and resveratrol, a molecule in red wines believed to have inflammation-fighting and other health-promoting traits (though suitably large clinical trials have yet to confirm these).