Industrial microbiology is just one branch in the big tree of applied microbiology, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. The field of industrial microbiology uses the enigmatic powers of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, food products, enzymes, amino acids, vaccines, and fine chemicals. Quite a multitasker! The world of the food industry was especially shaken up by the introduction of industrial microbiology. Bread, beer, pickles, fermented food, and all the food products people cherish and love today can be made using the intricacies of industrial microbiology.
The technology has also created a buzz in the energy industry with its ability to produce biofuels such as biohydrogen, bioethanol, and biodiesel. As per a study published in March 2023, researchers have proved that the tough job of breaking down woody lignin can be performed by fungi. This is exciting news because the breakdown of lignin represents a key step in plant-based biofuel production. Soon, we might be saying bye-bye to polluting fossil fuels, all thanks to industrial microbiology.
With the advent of novel microbe strains, genetic engineering techniques, data analysis tools for mass production, synthetic biology and AI/ML algorithms, and new bioreactor designs, the world of industrial microbiology is set to explode. When it comes to industrial microbiology, scientists and biotechnology companies have touched just the tip of the iceberg, but there is a whole new world yet to be explored.