London: British scientists have genetically tweaked ordinary oranges to turn them into "healthier" blood oranges which they say could soon be mass produced at a fraction of the current cost. Blood oranges get their distinctive colour from pigments known as anthocyanins which also provide a variety of health benefits, for example lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. But the pigmentation only develops in certain climates where the fruit is exposed to a brief period of cold weather, meaning the oranges can only be commercially grown in a particular part of Italy and are consequently sold at a premium.
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