UKPCS Science Life Sciences-Biotechnology: Applications Of Biotechnology & Ethical concerns: #117

Applications Of Biotechnology in Food processing

Biotechnological study as practical to bioprocessing in the size of rising countries, targets growth and development of customary fermentation processes. However there are a few issues which need to be discussed in rising countries while using the technology for various applications.Applications Of Biotechnology


Breweries are synthesized through the process of fermentation. Different yeast strains are used to make breweries at commercial level. Genetic engineering has enabled us to make light wine. Yeast is genetically modified through foreign gene encoding glucoamylase. During process of fermentation yeast expresses glucoamylase that convert starch into glucose.

Yeast strains used for wine synthesis are capable of malolactic fermentation


Enzymes are used in production and processing of food items specifically produced at industrial level. Food processing companies are using enzymes that are produced through genetically modified organisms. These enzymes comprises of proteases and carbohydrases. Genes for these enzymes have been cloned so as to get higher production in less time period. These enzymes are used for making cheese, curd and flavoring food items. Major percentage of these enzymes is used in food industry as in US more than 50% of proteases and carbohydrases are used in food technology.

Following are some genetically modified enzymes used in food industry:

  • Catalase used in mayonnaise production and it removes hydrogen peroxide.
  • Chymosin useful in cheese production as it coagulates milk.
  • Glucose oxidase is used in baking as it stabilizes the dough.
  • α-amylase converts starch into maltose and used in baking for sweetness.
  • Protease used for meat tenderization process, baking and dairy products

Use of Biotechnology to Improve Yield

Milk is of the food item used all over the world due to its nutritional value. Bovine Somatotropin is a hormone released by pituitary gland. It raises the milk production.


Applications of Biotechnology in the Energy Industry

It is logical to imagine the future contribution of biotechnology to world energy production may increase not only in the area of biofuel production, but also in petroleum production, petroleum upgrading, biogas production, chemical production, crop improvement, bioremediation, microbiologically influenced corrosion, space travel, and other topics. However, the future contributions of biotechnology to the energy industry are not only influenced by technical advances in biotechnology, but also by the price of fossil fuels, the development of renewable energy generally, politics, global population growth, and other factors.

  • Biotechnology and the fossil fuel industry

The contributions of biotechnology to the energy industry are not restricted to the production of biofuels, and the microbial production of methane may well be the largest contribution in the future. Microbial conversion of hydrocarbons to methane could dramatically increase the amount of energy recovered.

Biotechnology can be used to upgrade petroleum and coal by removing undesirable elements/components such as sulfur, nitrogen, metals, and ash and by reducing viscosity. Bioprocessing can make oil easier/less expensive to refine and can reduce the production of air polluting gases resulting from the combustion of oil and coal.


Applications of Biotechnology in Space

Space travel for extended times creates nutritional, air and water quality, medical, and other issues that can be addressed through biotechnology. Methanogenic bacteria degrade organic matter, such as excrement, and produce methane. Recycling organic waste is crucially important in space travel where living space is limited and every available resource must be utilized.

Recycling organic waste

Biotechnology, and engineering, can make great contributions to waste management to improve methane recovery from landfills and other waste, and to produce organic fertilizers to sustain agriculture.


Ethical, social, legal and IPR related to biotechnology:-

Legal aspects:-

  1. Legal aspects are those concerning the protection that laws and protection should be provided.
  2. The globalization of biotechnology brings not only new economic but also new risks.
  3. According to cautionary principles, these risks could be avoided by implementing appropriate technology structuring.
  4. Laws appears to be the right way to structure and organize technological action.

Social aspects:-

  1. Social aspects are concern with how events may effects the society as whole and individual of the society.
  2. Includes the need of various publics to secure meaningful information to involvement the decision-making on development and use of biotechnology.
  3. Biotechnology provokes profound public mistrust.
  4. The classical humanistic vision that science will naturally lead to social progress has been severed by eroded. And scientist bear much of the responsibility.

Ethical aspects:-

  1. Ethical aspects are generally defined as those raising questions concerning what is moral right .
  2. Some ethical standards are required to evaluate the morality of all human activities that might help or harm living organisms.

Therefore, the Indian government has set up organizations such as GEAC(genetic engineering approval committee)

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