Large Scale Microbe Production.


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Microorganisms being cultured on a large scale in



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Microorganisms being cultured on a large scale in

Microbes and nutrients are put into the fermenter and air is bubbled through so that the microbes can respire aerobically. As carbon dioxide builds up the gas outlet releases it to avoid build-up of pressure. The product is run off from the bottom. It is separated from the microbes and purified so that it can be sold or distributed.

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The controlled conditions in fermenters for optimu

-An oxygen supply so the microorganisms can respire

-A stirrer to keep the microbes in suspension – this maintains a constant temperature and makes sure that the oxygen and food are evenly spread out throughout the culture

-A water-cooled jacket which removes excess heat produced from the respiration

-Measuring devices for pH and temperature so changes can be made if necessary (i.e. when a dependent change is caused)

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The Production of Mycoprotein.

A food based on fungi called mycoprotein is produced using the fungus Fusarium, which grows and reproduces very rapidly based on a cheap energy supply (an inexpensive sugar syrup made from waste carbohydrates) in a large fermenter, 40 metres high. It requires aerobic conditions to grow. The pH balance, temperature, nutrient concentration and oxygen are all constantly adjusted in order to achieve the optimum growth rate. Its mass doubles every 5 hours or so, and this biomass is harvested, purified and dried to leave mycoprotein. On its own, it is pale yellow in colour and tastes faintly of mushrooms – but a range of colours and flavours can be added to it to enhance it. Mycoprotein serves as a highprotein, low-fat meat substitute. This means it is good for dieters and vegetarians.

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