Chemicals via Higher Plant Bioengineering

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Food and raw material for its production was generally produced via the traditional agriculture. On the other hand, novel chemicals were manufactured in the laboratory or extracted from plant and animal sources. However, as the world population is steadily in- creasing, there is a decrease in traditional agriculture productivity and concerns are also expressed over the damage inflicted to the environment and restrictions that might be en- forced in food production. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for high qual- ity agricultural products as well as for food ingredients related to both the traditional or newly discovered nutrients or phytochemicals. Trends and developments,~n the area of plant biotechnology and bioengineering has allowed manipulation of genes' !lnd/or insertion of new genes, thus production of trans- genic plants. Starting from the introduction of agronomic traits, particularly stress resis- tance to diverse environmental factors, process and sensory characteristics, food quality and production of novel varieties of plant-based products through genetic engineering, biotechnology is changing the,;agriculture and the concept of production of plant-ba~~d raw materials. Increasing attention is being paid on research for production of plants !pat can provide a wide array of food and non-food products. Perhaps the first non-food pro,d- uct that plant biotechnology would achieve is production of large scale custom-designed industrial oils, but the list of chemicals is long, ranging from oils and specific triacyl- glycerols to biopolymers, enzymes, blood components, amo~g others.