What is Industrial Biotechnology?
Industrial biotechnology or White Biotechnology involves the modern application of Biotechnology for sustainable processing and production of bio-based products. It includes the uses of enzymes and microbes to produce bio-industrial products range from chemical and pharmaceutical to human and animal nutrition. Also, other bioproducts include pulp and paper, textiles, biofuels, materials, and polymers, using renewable raw materials.
What is Industrial Microbiology?
Industrial Microbiology mostly involves the study and use of various microbes for industrial processes. The aims are the production of many commercial products, typically on a large scale. The products include pharmaceuticals, enzymes, vaccines, food additives, antibodies, and chemicals.
Characteristics of Microbes used in Industrial Biotechnology
- The microbes use must be contamination free. In case, if it is bacteria, it should be phage free.
- Grow in simple media: minimal nutritional requirements. Also, preferably not require growth factors (i.e., pre-formed vi¬tamins, nucleotides, and acids).
- The organism should be genetically and physiologically stable. Hence, they must resist random mutations.
- The organism should also accept a certain degree of genetic manipulation to en¬able the creation of strains with more acceptable properties.
- The microbes should grow vigorously and rapidly.
- The growth period must be shorter, not more than 24 – 36 hours.
- They should lead to a single desired product in a short time possible.
- The product should not contain unwanted materials and toxins.
- The microbes should produce their products extracellularly to reduce the cost price.
- Should produce the products of interest in high yield.
- If possible, the microbes used should be nonpathogenic.
- The organism should not be too highly demanding of oxygen.
- The microbes should be conserved for an extended period and become viable after thawing process.
- The microbes need to be reasonably resis¬tant to predators such as Bdellovibrio spp or bacteriophages.
Conducting Research Areas in Industrial Biotechnology
There is a large number of areas in biotechnology where research can be conduct. Here are few of them;
- Production of antibodies and enzymes from important industrial microorganism including fungs & bacteria.
- Production of secondary metabolites and therapeutically important bio-molecules from microbes.
- Production of Biofuels from algae and related organisms.
- To evaluate the antibiotic or antimicrobial effects of plant extracts (Medicinal Leaves).
- Moreover, the characterization of Microbiome (Microbiota).
- The production of Bioethanol from starch fermentation by Yeast species.
- The production of Biodiesel from biomass using microalgal.
- Modify microbes as an environmentally friendly solution to recycle waste.
Culture Media for Microbes used in Industrial Biotechnology
The requirements for culture media usually depends on the type of microbes being used. However, the basic need remains the same. It includes;
- Source of energy
- Water, carbon source
- Nitrogen source
An ideal culture medium has the following features
- Allow high yield of the desired product and usually at a fast rate
- Enable low yield of undesired products
- Sterilized easily
- Yield consistent products, i.e., minimum batch variation
- Be cheap and readily available
- Be compatible with the fermentation pro¬cess
- Not pose environmental problems before, during, or after the fermentation process.
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