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Uses of Microorganisms - Food, Research, Environment

Importance of microorganisms in Food, Research, Pharma:

There are about one trillion species of microorganisms are present on Earth. there are two types of microorganisms prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi, protists, microscopic algae, etc. Microorganisms have an important impact on humans as well as microbial communities. It covers many types of beneficial and harmful aspects, it is widely involved in many fields such as food, medicine, industry and agriculture, environmental protection, and so on. Microorganisms play a big role in daily life.

Uses of Microorganisms

Uses of Microorganisms in the Food Industry : 

  • In ancient times, human beings used microorganisms for brewing and making noodles, but it was not until the 16th century that people understood that the production of these foods has a great relationship with microorganisms (such as yeast). 
  • Now Humans also continue to develop the application of microorganisms in food, such as food production.
  • Microorganisms can be used to increase soil fertility and crop yields.
  • Bacteria, fungus, molds, and yeast are the most important microorganisms that use in food and food products production.  
  • There are several strains of bacteria and fungus that are used in the fermentation process to produce fermented products such as cultured milk and yogurt, wine, beer, ethanol, vitamins, antibiotics, bread,  kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha. 
  • Microorganisms are also used in the Production of Antibiotics, Dairy Products, Alcoholic Beverages, Bread making, Food Yeast, Organic Acids, Vitamins, etc.
  • M.O is used in Food biopreservation such as Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) used to control pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in foods.
  • Microorganisms are used in Probiotics production to improve health by promoting natural immunity and improving the digestion system. 
  • Example of probiotics in food is Milk- Lactobacillus acidophilus, Cheese- Lactobacillus, Yogurt -Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilous,.

Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Microorganisms

Importance of Microorganisms in Energy 

  • Facing the energy crisis nowadays, many scientists and companies are trying to use microorganisms (such as methanogens, algae, etc.) to generate green energy (such as methane, alcohol, etc.). 
  • Microorganisms have a key role in energy conversion
  • Microorganisms are used to generate fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen, methane, lipids, and butanol, which can be burned to produce energy.
  • Various bacterial enzymes such as  Geobacter sulfurreducens produce give a signal that they can produce electrical energy from metals.
  • Many pathogenic and non-pathogenic heterotrophic bacteria obtain energy from the oxidation of organic compounds.
  • A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a device capable to converts organic matter (fuel) into electrical energy by using microorganisms.
  • Microalgae can be used for the production of biomass resources from renewable energy.
  • Hexanol the fuel used in automobiles is usually fermented by microorganisms.


Importance of Microorganisms in Scientific Research:

  • Microorganisms are used in Scientific research for the study of genomics, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. 
  • Yeast is used by scientists as a model organism for genome research because of its rapid reproduction and easy genetic manipulation. 
  • Microorganisms are also used to manufacture steroids and insulin, to treat skin diseases to fuel cells.
  • Escherichia coli is widely used as one of the research methods such as DNA amplification, DNA studies.
  • In modern biopharmaceuticals, the anti-inflammatory drugs you use are likely to be made by microorganisms.


Microorganisms use in Environmental Studies:

  • Today due to human industrial activities, substances accumulate in the environment and it affects the ecosystem. 
  • Increasing pollution can affect human health. In such cases, environmental purification must be carried out.
  • Environmental purification is the removal of pollutants from a polluted environment and the restoration of the original environment. 
  • Biological techniques use living organisms to remove pollutants and are called bioremediation
  • It may also be used to purify the environment, such as activated sludge and petroleum-degrading bacteria used for the treatment of industrial wastewater. 

Read: Phytoremediation

Uses of Microorganisms in Disease and War

In the Middle Ages, pathogenic microorganisms were used to infect and destroy the enemy's weapons, and today this method is also used in many terrorist activities and biological and chemical weapons. There are a lot of normal bacteria in the human gut, and once they get messed up, you get sick.

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