History of the food biotechnology - Notes


Feb 20, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)


History of the food biotechnology

The use of food biotechnology dates back to thousands of years ago to the time of the

. These groups of people used yeast to make fermented beverages
such as beer.

The use of plant enzymes such as malts were also used many millennia ago,
before there was even

an understanding of enzymes.

Further advancement in food
biotechnology occurred with the invention of the microscope by
Anton van Leeuwenhoek
which allowed for humans to discover microorganisms which would then be used in food

Furthermore, food biotechnology was advanced in 1871 when
Louis Pasteur

discovered that heating juices to a certain temperature would kill off bad bacteria which
would affect wine and fermentation. This process was then applied to milk production,
heating milk to a

certain temperature to improve food hygiene.

Food science and food biotechnology was then progressed to include the discovery of
enzymes and their role in fermentation and digestion of foods. With this discovery, further
technological development of enzym
es emerged. Typical industrial enzymes used plant and
animal extracts, but this was later substituted by microbial enzymes. An example of this
would be the use of

in the productio
n of cheese; cheese was typically made using
the enzyme rennet which would be extracted from the stomach lining of the cow. Scientists
then started using a recombinant

in order fo
r milk clotting, resulting in cheese
curds. Food enzyme production using microbial enzymes was the first application of
Genetically modified org
. Food Biotechnology has grown to include cloning of plants
and animals, as well as more development in genetically modified foods in more recent years.

Historical development

Much biotechnological advancement has happened over centuries which have
a major impact
on what food biotechnology is today, starting with 6000 BC:

6000 BC
> Yeast is used to make Beer by Sumerians and Babylonians

4000 BC
> The Egyptians discover how to utilize yeast to make bread while the
Chinese discover how to make yogh
urt, cheese, vinegar, soy sauce and wine with
lactic acid bacteria, molds, and fermentation respectively.

1300 AD
> Algae from lakes is discovered as a food source by Aztecs

> Francesco Redi discovers why maggots appear on rotting meat

> An
ton van Leeuwenhoek makes discoveries in microbiology with the use of
the microscope

> cross
fertilization in corn is discovered

> Louis Pasteur discovers
; Ernst Hoppe
Seyler discovers an
enzyme called invertase which is used to make sweeteners

> Andrei Nikolaevitch Belozersky isolates pure DNA for the first time

> James Watson and Francis Crick discover double helix structure of


> High
yield wheat varieties are planted in Mexico

> A recombinant organism is created for first time by transferring viral DNA
into a bacterium

> Patent to produce human insulin from genetically modified bacteria is

> Steven Lindow wants to control frost damage in potatoes and strawberries
using genetically engineered bacteria

> A genetically modified tobacco plant that is resistant to viruses

> Calgene Inc. receives a patent that will allow them to pr
oduce a tomato with
an extended shelf life, while another company works on trying to use a recombinant
organism to inhibit frost on strawberry patches in the US; A genetically modified
bacteria is tested on almond seedlings to see if the plant is protected

from crown gall;
potatoes are modified with a gene to produce more protein and therefore increase
nutritional value.

> modified enzyme for cheese production is approved for use in the US while
modified yeast is approved for use in the UK.

FlavrSavr tomato is approved by FDA

> Australia’s first cloned cows are produced

> gene from Arabidopsis is inserted into tomato plants. This gene will allow
for tomato crops to grow in salty water and soil

> DNA of rice is sequenced

> UK approves GM herbicide
resistant corn used for cattle feed; first GM
resistant corn is approved in US; an endangered species of cattle called the
banteng is cloned for first time in the USA; biotech decaffeinated coffee bean is
d in Japan

> GM canola in Australia has moratoria placed on it due to consumer
concerns; gene mapping is used in Australia to identify genes for tenderness and
toughness in beef

> Germany approves first GM crops; GM drought
resistant tomatoes
, salt
tolerant oats, and high
calcium potatoes are tested in the US


> Many different advancements in food biotechnology are discovered

more GM crops are approved for use, as well as cloning of animals for meat is
deemed safe for consumption