Biotech #FoodHeroes: Hortense Dodo

Hortense Dodo

Hortense Dodo has dared to dream.

Hers is not a dream of wealth or fame or privilege, but a noble, humanitarian dream: to save the lives of millions who suffer from severe peanut allergies.

“I have always had a fascination with science and how scientists can impact and improve human conditions by bringing significant and tangible benefits to existing problems in society,” Dodo says. “This was why I majored in biology and eventually embraced the field of agricultural biotechnology as a career choice. Scientists are my heroes.”

Now that she’s a scientist herself, as well as a university professor, inventor and entrepreneur, Dodo has set about achieving her dream through the tools of agricultural biotechnology. Her North Carolina based company, IngateyGen LLC, is pursuing the mission of delivering allergen-free and more nutritious peanuts to consumers.

“Our long-term goals are to eliminate severe allergic reactions, anaphylaxis and deaths caused by peanut allergy; reduce stress, anxiety and fear for those with peanut sensitivity and their families and friends; reduce the number of lawsuits caused by peanut allergies, and reduce the number of food recalls in industries that use peanuts as an ingredient,” Dodo explains. “We also hope to enrich peanut nutrition, potentially helping undernourished children and improving the economics of agriculture.”

Ultimately, IngateyGen intends to license its new allergen-free peanut germplasm to partners across the peanut value chain who will introduce it into the marketplace.

“Plant biotechnology is a vast field with the potential to transform the world of agriculture for the better, with improved crop yield, higher crop production, disease resistance and food quality,” Dodo says. “Modern breeding techniques such as transgenic agriculture and GMO are safe.”