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Use of microbes in industrial products:

1) Fermented beverages: Alcoholic beverages are produced throughout the world. The most commonly used organism for the production of alcoholic beverages is Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Yeast). It is capable for utilizing simple sugars (glucose, fructose) and converts them into ethanol. Alcoholic drinks like Beer, Wine, Whisky, Brandy, Rum are produced by the alcoholic fermentation of malted cereals (barley, rye, corn) and fruit juices (apple and grapes).

2) Amino acids: The production of amino acids on a commercial scale requires the need of several stains of microorganisms. They are used in food industry as flavor and taste enhances (Eg: Glutamic acid), as artificial sweeteners in soft drink industry (Eg: Glycine, Aspartame), in pharmaceutical industry (Eg: Ornithine- treatment of liver disease, Histidine and Glutamine- therapy for ulcers).

3) Antibiotics: Antibiotics are chemical substances that can kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. They are used for fighting infections in human being or animals. They are produced industrially by using microorganisms. Example: Tetracycline is produced by using Streptomyces, Penicillin G is produced by using Penicillium and Chloramphenicol is produced by using Cephalosporium.

4) Organic acids: The organic acids produced industrially along with the microbes used are listed in the table given below: 

Organic acid produced

Name of microbe

Citric Acid

Aspergillus niger

Lactic Acid

Lactobacillus spp.

Ascorbic acid

Acetobacter xylinum or Acetobacter suboxydans

Itaconic acid

Aspergillus itoconicus and Aspergillus terreus

Acetic acid

Acetobacter aceti

5) Enzymes: The list of enzymes produced by microbes and their uses are given in the table below: 

Enzyme produced

Name of Microbe

Uses

Amylase

Aspergillus oryzae, A.niger, Bacillus subtilis

Production of alcohol, removal of starch, preparation of glucose syrups

Cellulase

Aspergillus niger

Alcohol and glucose production

Invertase

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Sucrose inversion, in confectionaries

Pectinase

Aspergillus spp.

Clarification of fruit juices, alcohol production

Glucose oxidase

Aspergillus niger

Antioxidant in prepared foods

 

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