Biotechnological Processes

Some biotechnological processes, and examples of organisms involved.

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The production of foods

Cheese and yoghurt making - Bacterial (Lactobacillus) growth in milk changes the flavour and texture of the milk to generate a different food. These bacteris prevent the growth of other bacteria that would cause spoilage, and so preserve the food. 

Mycoprotein - Growth of a specific fungus (Fusarium) in culture. The fungal mycelium produced is seperated and processes as food. 

Naturally brewed soya sauce - Roasted soya beans are fermented with yeast or fungi such as Aspergillus.

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The production of drugs or other pharmaceutical ch

Penicillin, an antibiotic medicine - The fungus Penicillium grown in culture produces the antibiotic as a by-product of its metabolism.

Insulin, a hormone used by diabetic patients whose own production of hormone is not sufficient - Bacteria (E.coli) are genetically modified to carry the human insulin gene, Organisms secrete the insulin protein as they grow.

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The production of enzymes or other chemicals for c

Pectinase, used in fruit juice extraction - The fungus A. niger grown in certain conditions produces and secretes pectinase enzyme.

Calcium citrate (used in detergents) - The fungus A. niger produces citric acid as a by-product of its normal metabolism.

Bio-gas fuel production - Methanogenic bacteria, grown on concentrated sewage, respire anaerobically and generate gases that can be used as fuel.

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The bioremediation of waste products

Waste water treatment - A variety of bacteria and fungi use organic waste in the water as nutrients and make the waste harmless; for example Fusarium grown on corn steep liquor, a waste product of the corn milling industry.

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