Food is an important basic substance for human being which provides the nutrients for survival. Food processing is the process of making food from different raw materials through physical and chemical processes. Household and industrial food productions are the two important sources of prepared food.
Microorganisms are very tiny in size. They are not visible to the naked eye. Microorganisms are present in all types of environmental sources like soil, air, water, animal body and plant etc.
Some of the microorganisms are involved in food processing and preservation in household and industrial food production.
In household Food processing
Household foods are produced by the family members for their own consumption. Some of the microorganisms like bacteria and fungi play a variety of roles in the formation of household food.
For example, Lactobacillus, the bacteria involved in the formation of curd from the milk and yogurt is produced by the bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a type of yeast used for making bread in the household as well as food processing industry.
Microorganisms are also used to prepare some traditional drinks like Toddy.
In addition to these, most common food like dosa and idly are prepared from fermented rice by some bacteria.
Food engineering is one of the advanced methods to improve the quality and quantity of food by using microorganisms. Food engineering involves the process of designing and updating the manufacturing process of food products. By food engineering, new food and high-quality biological products can be prepared using microorganisms. Also, in industries, microorganisms are used to preserve food and its quality.
In industrial food production, microorganisms play a critical role in the manufacturing of a variety of food substance.
- Antibiotics are important components of human welfare against infections and diseases. These are manufactured in industries using bacteria. For example, penicillin is one of the important antibiotics and it is produced by the bacteria, Penicillium notatum.
- The production and preservation of beverages like whiskey, brandy, beer, and rum are done by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
- Microorganisms are also involved in the commercial production of enzymes. Example: Production of lipase.
- Ethanol is one of the important commercial chemicals which is produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
- Immunosuppressive agents like Cyclosporin are prepared from the fungus, Trichoderma.
- In food processing technology, some of the microorganisms are used for the preservation of packed food as well.
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