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WUSF News Staff
Tue March 12, 2013
Grapefruit Hybrid Might Be Safer to Consume
Grapefruit lovers who had to do away with the citrus fruit because of effects it had on certain medications have a new found hope. A hybrid grapefruit is in the works.
Grapefruit has a certain way of interacting with some drugs like those used for cancer, the heart, and lowering high cholesterol. The natural chemicals in grapefruits called furanocoumarins, or FCs, don't allow these drugs to break down and may result in an overdose.
University of Florida professor Fred Gmitter has been working on a red grapefruit and pomelo hybrid. This hybrid has a much lower number of FCs so it's possibly safer to consume.
Gmitter says it would take about 5 years before the new fruit hits the stores.
"Right now there are a just a handful of trees that exist, not nearly enough to commercialize. So we have this whole process of ramping up and getting trees out to citrus nurseries..." he said.
Of course before ramping up production, human clinical trials are needed to confirm its effects. The hybrid grapefruit has only be tested on human cells.