When it comes to industrial microbiology, microbes are the star since they are used in a ton of products that are valuable to all of us. This particular industry has produced products that have not only become a part of our lives but have actually helped to increase our lifespans. Some of the things that are derived from microbes include food additives, biofuels, products for both the health of humans and animals, and even both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Some more examples that are derived from microbes include fertilizers, metabolites, chemicals, and even antibiotics and vaccinations, but what exactly are microbes?
What are Microbes?
Microbes can also be referred to as microorganisms and they are the major components they are found in a variety of biological systems throughout the earth. This means they are everywhere, including in our water, the air we breathe, the soil around us, and in and outside of our bodies. Microbes are also found in plants and other animals. While they vary in size and shape, they are so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. You have to use a microscope to see them which is why they are referred to as microorganisms. There are many different types including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, and fungi.
Considered a branch of microbiology and biotechnology, microbiology basically encompasses the study of a variety of microorganisms and their applications in the industrial processes in which they are part of.
In more large-scale industrial processes, microbes are used in a number of products that are very valuable to humans. When it comes to industrial microbiology, microbes actually play a very critical role when it comes to the fermentation process to create several different types of products. The two most common products obtained by this process are malted cereals, fruit juices, antibiotics, broths, beverages. Below we will take a closer look at some of these.
One type of very common microorganism that many people know about is yeast. Not only is it used in the making of various types of bread, it is also used in the creation of alcoholic beverages including beer, whiskey, brandy, wine, and several others. Yeast is a single-cell eukaryotic microorganism that is part of the Kingdom Fungi. This type of yeast is known as Brewer’s Yeast is utilized in the fermenting process of malted cereals as well as fruit juices.
When it comes to the industrial production of certain organic acids, microbes are definitely part of the process. For example, citric acid was the first type of organic acid discovered that was created from the microbial fermentation of lemons. Organic acids are created directly from glucose.
Along with being obtained from plants and animals, enzymes can also be derived from certain microbes which are referred to as microbial enzymes. Enzymes occur naturally and are basically biological catalysts that have the ability to control certain biochemical reactions in living systems. Enzymes are used in a wide range of products including in the medical field. Microorganisms are utilized in the production of industrial enzymes through a safe gene transfer method and were first discovered in 1896. They can even help with indigestion and other disorders of the digestive system.
Antibiotics are very important in our society for fighting a variety of bacterial-based diseases in both humans and animals. They are chemical substances that are created by certain microbes that function by killing or slowing down the growth of harmful microbes while leaving the host cells alone. A good example of an antibiotic is penicillin which was first discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 from a fungus called Penicilliumnotatum. There are a variety of other antibiotics that are produced by microorganisms, such as Streptomycin and Amoxicillin.
Vitamins are extremely important to maintain life-sustaining functions throughout our body and they are considered to be organic compounds that are basically essential micronutrients that are required for our body’s metabolic processes. While many vitamins come directly from plants and animals, there are microbial vitamins that are produced in our bodies and synthesized and some examples of those are beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12, thiamine, and even riboflavin.
Microbes are even used in industrial products that can help in the production of protein and other hormonal supplements that help treat humans for malnutrition and other deficiency diseases in both animals and humans.
Single Cell Protein (SCP)
For people suffering from hunger and malnutrition due to a lack of food in their environment across the world, Single Cell Protein (SCP) can be used as a great alternate source of energy. Single-cell proteins are basically microbial cells that are very rich in protein content enter uses protein supplements for both humans and animals. Even microbes, such as Spirula, can be developed easily on materials like wastewater from plants that process potatoes since they contain starch, as well as molasses, straw, animal newer, and even sewage to produce large quantities, are these single-cell proteins that can serve as food that is rich in protein as well as minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats.
Purchasing Microbes and Enzymes
It is extremely important to get your microbials and enzymes from a professional and trustworthy source, such as American Bio Systems to ensure quality in the industrial process and to create proper products that are healthy and provide better results for both animals and humans.