Microorganisms can be used to make Food
Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and other fungi are used in the production of food and drinks. Some microorganisms convert sugar into other substances that humans then use for food production.
- Bread is made by mixing yeast (fungus), sugar, flour and water into a dough. The yeast converts the sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide - its the carbon dioxide which is responsible for the bread rising.
- Wine is created by adding yeast to grape juice. The yeast turns the sugar in the grape juice to ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide.
- Cheese is made by adding a bacteria to milk. The bacteria of the Lactobacillus species converts the sugars, primarily lactose, in the milk to lactic acid, which causes the milk to curdle. An enzyme (Rennet) is then used to turn the curdled milk into curds and whey. The curds are removed and left to ripen, forming cheese. Whey can be used as a food product.
- Yoghurt is also made by adding a bacterium from the Lactobacillus species to milk, the lactose is converted into lactic acid causing the milk to clot and thicken into yoghurt.
Advantages of Microorganisms in Food Production