By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Let us propose a toast.
To University Of Illinois scientists!
To the end of the wine hangover!
Cheers! Clink, glug, glug, glug.
Researchers at the U. of I. have genetically engineered a yeast that could not only reduce the toxins that lead to hangover headaches, but also increase the heart-healthy benefits of wine.
They essentially did this by slicing and dicing genetic material to create the desired effect.
The research also means scientists can improve the nutritional value in foods, said one of the researchers, Yong-Su Jin.
“Wine, for instance, contains the healthful component resveratrol,” Jin said in a statement. “With engineered yeast, we could increase the amount of resveratrol in a variety of wine by 10 times or more. But we could also add metabolic pathways to introduce bioactive compounds from other foods, such as ginseng, into the wine yeast. Or we could put resveratrol-producing pathways into yeast strains used for beer, kefir, cheese, kimchee, or pickles–any food that uses yeast fermentation in its production.”
Another benefit: The alternations could improve the fermentation process that often creates the toxins that head to hangover symptoms, Jin said.
The research was reported in a recent issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.