facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Raw coffee beans tested as insecticide

May 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

CAMPINAS, Brazil, May 21 (UPI) -- Proteins in raw coffee beans kill insects and could become the next generation of insecticides to protect food crops, scientists in Brazil said.

Coffee beans contain large amounts of globulins, proteins found in smaller amounts in peas and beans, said biologist Paulo Mazzafera of the State University of Campinas, Brazil.

Mazzafera and his team found even tiny amounts of the coffee protein quickly killed as many as half of the cowpea weevil larva it was tested against. The protein appears to be harmless to people.

Scientists in the future could insert genes from insect-killing proteins into food crops, such as grains, so the plants could produce their own insecticides, Mazzafera wrote in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid
2
Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest
3
Boeing may build NASA's space taxi Boeing may build NASA's space taxi
4
Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast
5
The NSA will now map out the entire Internet The NSA will now map out the entire Internet
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback