ABSTRACT

The biological processes of microorganisms have been used to make and preserve useful food products for more than 6000 years. Microbial biotechnology or industrial microbiology is the use of microorganisms to obtain an economically valuable product or activity at a commercial or large scale. The microorganisms used in industrial processes are natural, laboratory-selected mutant or genetically engineered strains. Economically valuable products such as alcohols, solvents, organic acids, amino acids, enzymes, fermented dairy products, food additives, vitamins, antibiotics, recombinant proteins and hormones, biopolymers, fertilizers, and biopesticides are produced by microorganisms that are used in chemical, food, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and other industries. Biodegradation and biotransformation of complex compounds, domestic and industrial wastewater treatment, biomining, and enhanced oil recovery are examples of microbially valuable activities. According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, microbial biotechnology can be dened as any technological application that uses microbiological systems, microbial organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specic use.