Company launches new lettuce blend using CRISPR technology
Pairwise, a food startup, launched its inaugural product, Conscious Greens, under its Conscious Foods brand. The product was developed with CRISPR gene-editing technology. The company's Purple Power Baby Greens Blend is a mix of colorful Superfood leafy greens with a unique, fresh flavor and up to double the amount of vitamins and minerals as Romaine.
Using CRISPR technologies to adjust taste and nutrition in produce, the company said Conscious Greens are field-grown Superfood greens that eat like lettuce, offering a versatile new option for chefs and salad lovers alike. Conscious Greens derive from nutritiously rich mustard greens and are part of the same family of vegetables as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale.
The blend is now available in select restaurants and outlets in the PFG operator network, including locations in Springfield, MA, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis.
The company has partnered with Performance Food Group Co., which will offer the Purple Power Baby Greens Blend co-branded under its premium brand, Peak Fresh Produce.
“We are committed to bringing innovation to our customers and pleased to partner with Pairwise to help take Conscious Greens products to market,” said Bob Warnock, vice president of produce at PFG. “These products are innovative and make a great addition to our existing top-quality line of Peak Fresh Produce products.”
CRISPR is a gene editing technique used to make changes to the DNA of a plant, bush or tree, to bring out desired characteristics or to dial down undesired characteristics. This process does what the centuries-old practice of crossbreeding could do, but in a much shorter amount of time. All Conscious Foods products are reviewed by the USDA before entering the market and meet or exceed all FDA and state food safety laws and regulations.
“It is exciting to see the first CRISPR food coming to market to address consumers’ demand for nutritious and fun fruits and vegetables,” said Vonnie Estes, vice president of innovation at the International Fresh Produce Association. “If we are to reach the goal of doubling the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, offering consumers a wide diversity of fresh products is a must. It also demonstrates how innovative technology can deliver results for our changing climate. We applaud Conscious Foods’ efforts to bring new and clearly differentiated product to the market.”
Conscious Greens will be shipping to U.S. grocery stores later this year, as part of a broader Conscious Foods portfolio of produce developed with CRISPR technology.