Tobacco Revisited: A Food from Tobacco Fraction 1 Protein Plus a Safer Smoking Material
A little more than a decade ago, Fraction 1 protein was crystallized for the first time. The discovery was made by Nobumaro Kawashima (1), working in my laboratory at UCLA while on study leave from the Japan Tobacco Monopoly Corporation. The first crystals were obtained from tobacco leaves by a complicated, laborious, and not always successful procedure. Gradually, as often happens following a significant scientific discovery, a simpler and more reliable method evolved. Today, Fraction 1 protein is crystallized from tobacco plants by a process which may be the ultimate in simplicity for obtaining any crystalline protein in high yield. Moreover, the process of crystallizing Fraction 1 protein from tobacco leaves a residue which can be converted into a relatively safe smoking tobacco. With the costs of its production at least partially covered by the economic value of the smoking tobacco, crystalline Fraction 1 protein may be an economical as well as a highly nutritious human food. In the ensuing paragraphs, I will attempt to trace the events which have brought crystalline Fraction 1 protein from its beginning as a laboratory curiosity to its present position as a potential agricultural commodity of major economic and humanitarian importance.
KeywordsTobacco Plant Leaf Protein Protein Efficiency Ratio Crystalline Fraction Cigarette Tobacco
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