Friday, 18 February 2011

Biotechnology and food processing

Appliations of biotechnology in food-How to benefit?

Biotechnology encompasses a wide range of different technologies and can be applied in each of the various food sectors and agriculture. It includes technologies such as genetic modification (manipulation) and the transfer, the use of molecular markers, the development of recombinant vaccines and DNA-based methods of disease characterization propagation / diagnostic in-vitro growing plants, embryo transfer and other reproductive technologies. It also includes a number of technologies used to process raw materials produced by the food crop sectors, fisheries and livestock. It 'an area that receives relatively little media attention, but it is very important for food security in many developing countries.

Biotechnology in food processing is the selection and improvement of microorganisms with the objectives of improving process control, productivity and efficiency and the quality, safety and consistency of processed organic products. Micro-organisms or microbes are generic terms for the group of organisms that are microscopic in size, and include bacteria, yeasts and molds.

Fermentation is the process of bioconversion of organic matter by micro-organisms and / or enzymes (complex proteins) of microbial, plant or animal. This is one of the oldest forms of food preservation that is applied globally. Indigenous fermented foods such as bread, cheese and wine and other fermented foods contribute about one third of the food throughout the world.

The fermentation is generally applied in the conservation of a range of agricultural products (cereals, roots, tubers, fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, fish, etc..) Commercially produced fermented foods that are marketed worldwide dairy products (yogurt cheese, fermented milk), soy sauce and sausages.

food fermentations contribute substantially to the safety and food security, particularly in rural areas of many developing countries. The process has been used for years and years and has been widely accepted standard. Needless to say, the potential application of biotechnology in particular in developing countries in terms of food security and the fight against hunger is huge and more efforts and incentives are needed to give a boost to the sector.

Although the fermentation technology has been used for many years in these countries, the resulting output of these technologies is not very high and there is a need to contribute to research efforts in this direction to increase productivity. In addition to a careful evaluation of the merits and weaknesses of each technology to find the level of consumption and the toxin is also necessary.