GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
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Possible application of gene technology Labelling
Raw material GM corn yes
Fats from GM plants yes
Citric acid, made with the aid of GM microorganisms no


Description of product

Originally, tortillas are little pita breads made from corn flour, fat and sugar. The aliment, which is very popular in Central and South America, is traditionally consumed warm. Today tortillas are also industrially produced: for an entire day the corn is put into a mixture of chalk and water until the kernels break open. After the water is poured off, the kernels are ground and dried. On the market one will also find "ready-baked" and "wrapped up" pita breads in bags, which are quickly heated and filled. Small, roasted or baked tortillas are consumed as chips or salty snacks.

Possible application of gene technology

Applications of gene technology are possible in the following ingredients that commonly are found in tortillas. However, the extent to which a particular product is affected by these possibilities cannot be stated with certainty:

  • typical ingredients of tortillas are corn and/or flour / polenta. The raw material corn may consist to a certain degree of genetically modified corn, particularly if raw materials are imported from the USA or Argentina. The probability of this will increase if it comes to an intensified cultivation of corn in the EU. Nevertheless, it is possible to find random, unwanted admixtures of GM corn although its quantity normally stays below the currently valid "labelling level" of 0.9 per cent.
  • vegetable oils, e.g. soy oil or rapeseed oil; also cottonseed oil
  • sugar from GM sugar beets
  • flavour enhancer: glutamate
  • emulsifier, e.g. mono- and diglyceride
  • acidifier: citric acid
  • flavours or spices

EU labelling: labelling is compulsory if tortillas are made from GM corn.


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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