QVprep Biology Lessons

Biotechnology products, Cheese, Wine and beverages, Antibiotics



Tomatoes with longer shelf life: In the 1980s, testing of biotechnology-derived foods began. In the year 1994, the FlavrSavr tomato was released into the market after FDA approval. It was a more flavorful tomato that stayed fresh for a longer period. Soon after, many other crops with genetically altered qualities were produced.

Cheese: Cheese is thought to be one of the first products made through biotechnology, thousands of years ago. In the earlier times, strains of bacteria were added to curdle milk and make yogurt and other milk-based products. To make cheese, the enzyme rennet is required. Usually rennet is obtained from the stomach lining of slaughtered calves. But biotechnology has enabled the production of genetically engineered rennet for making cheese.

Wine and beverages: Fermentation of wine and other beverages are another example of biotechnology practiced since the ancient times. Today, we have fermentors, which are special vessels that grow microbes in sufficient quantities in optimal conditions to produce desired products.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are also produced in fermentors. Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be produced by microbes. It is produced from a strain of fungi called Penicillium. Fungi are most commonly used for producing antibiotics. Most commercially useful products are produced by bacteria.

Conclusion: There are many other products like industrial chemicals, food products and pharmaceuticals that can be produced in large quantities at relatively low expense with the help of biotechnology.