In the late 90s, scientists discovered that glucosinolates caused Brussels sprouts to taste bitter. The researchers began trials to improve the taste of sprouts by growing old seeds. They worked to identify the varieties with low levels of glucosinolates. By crossbreeding the flavorful species with other varieties, they developed a breed that produced delicious sprouts. This turned the unpopular vegetable into a popular side dish.
However, this has not been achieved with other vegetables. This might have something to do with the fact that breeding decisions focus on what is important to growers, not consumers.
Moreover, breeders face challenges related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is because GMOs involve introducing genes from different species. Fortunately, there are new techniques that enable researchers to make modifications within a plant’s genome. This helps to bypass the set of complicated rules.
Targeting a plant’s flavor is difficult due to the difference in individual preferences. However, recent advancements in genetic technology have sparked hope in prioritizing flavor. Fruit and vegetable breeders can now access a wider range of tools as well as new techniques.
Some companies are employing gene editing to modify different salad greens. They are trying to combat the compounds that were found to affect Brussels sprouts.