How are bacteria harnessed for human agriculture or food technology

In our bodies, they help fight off disease. In the soil, they help deliver nutrients to plants, and perhaps much more. The most direct way to take advantage of microbes in farming — an approach that’s been around for decades, in fact — is to deploy them as weapons against insects or weeds.


What is the role of bacteria in agriculture?

There are several useful roles of bacteria in agriculture, medicine, food, and many other industries. Bacteria are ubiquitous due to their ability to evolve and survive in all kinds of environments.

What is the role of bacteria in a food processor?

Bacteria are the most important microorganisms to the food processor. Most are harmless, many are highly beneficial, some indicate the probable presence of filth, disease organisms, spoilage and a few cause disease.

How does microbial contamination enter the food chain?

Microbial contamination can enter the food chain mainly at the production and processing levels: (1) The first level is the production environment, represented by the farm, orchard, or fishery. Contamination at this preharvest stage is particularly serious for foods that are consumed raw or undercooked.

How to minimize microbial growth on equipment?

Minimizing microbial growth on equipment, by cleaning and sanitizing, and in the product itself by adjusting storage temperature, pH, and other environmental factors. Although each factor affecting growth is considered separately in the following discussion, these factors occur simultaneously in nature.

How is bacteria used in agriculture?

Bacteria increase the fertility of the soil and provide such nutrients to the soil which are useful for the plant growth. They also help in softening the food in the seed and this is the reason plants come out of the seeds.

How do humans use bacteria for food production?

Bacteria are used in fermentation processes, such as brewing, baking, and cheese and butter manufacturing. They are also used in agriculture, such as in composting processes and as pesticides. Bacteria play the key role in nitrogen fixation.

How bacteria are beneficial in food industry?

Fermented foods are an important part of the food processing industry and of many consumers’ diets and are largely produced by lactic acid bacteria that have been selected for their ability to produce desired products or changes in the food.

What are 3 ways bacteria are used in industry?

Bacteria are used in industry in a number of ways that generally exploit their natural metabolic capabilities. They are used in manufacture of foods and production of antibiotics, probiotics, drugs, vaccines, starter cultures, insecticides, enzymes, fuels and solvents.

How are bacteria useful to humans?

Good bacteria help our bodies digest food and absorb nutrients, and they produce several vitamins in the intestinal tract — including folic acid, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12.

Why is bacteria important for humans?

Most bacteria are good for us The bacteria in our bodies help degrade the food we eat, help make nutrients available to us and neutralize toxins, to name a few examples[7]; [8]. Also, they play an essential role in the defense against infections by protecting colonized surfaces from invading pathogens[8]; [9].

What common bacteria are used in food production?

List of Useful Microorganisns Used In preparation Of Food And BeverageMICROORGANISMTYPE ( Bacterium / Fungus )FOOD / BEVERAGELactobacillus bucheribacteriumwineLactobacillus cacaonumbacteriumchocolateLactobacillus caseibacteriumcheese (Idiazabal)Lactobacillus caseibacteriumcheese (Manchego)156 more rows

How is bacteria used industrially?

Anaerobic sugar fermentation reactions by various bacteria produce different end products. The production of ethanol by yeasts has been exploited by the brewing industry for thousands of years and is used for fuel production.

Why are bacteria used in industry?

Microbes, or microscopic organisms, are widely used in large-scale industrial processes. They are crucial for the production of a variety of metabolites, such as ethanol, butanol, lactic acid and riboflavin, as well as the transformation of chemicals that help to reduce environmental pollution.

How are bacteria used in biotechnology applications?

We use bacteria as protein factories Bacteria can translate foreign genes into proteins – and scientists have ways to ensure that the bacteria make the proteins in large amounts. For these reasons, bacteria can function as ‘protein factories’, producing medically important proteins and others.

Why bacteria are useful in biotechnology and genetic engineering?

Bacteria​are useful to genetic engineering as they ​reproduce very rapidly​but still have the ability to produce complex molecules​. ​Bacteria contain ​plasmids​, which are circular rings of DNA, into which new genes can be​ ​inserted, removed or changed​.

What are cultured bacteria used for in food industry?

Bacterial food cultures are responsible for the aroma, taste and texture of cheeses and fermented milk products such as yogurts, ayran, doogh, skyr or ymer. They contribute to developing the flavour and colour of such fermented products as salami, pepperoni and dried ham.

What are the three types of food contamination?

While there are many different categories used to define bacteria associated with food, two of the largest categories are pathogenic and nonpathogenic (spoilage) contamination. While both subjects are cause for public concern, it is for uniquely separate reasons.

Why are bacteria so prominent in the microflora of foods?

The bacteria are readily prominent in the microflora of foods because of their capability to thrive in adverse environments including high pH, low temperatures, and anaerobic conditions ( Monteville and Matthews, 2011 ).

How hot does C. perfringens grow?

perfringens can exist as a heat-resistant spore, so it may survive cooking and grow to large numbers if the cooked food is held between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F for an extensive time period. Meat and poultry dishes, sauces and gravies are the foods most frequently involved.

How to prevent food poisoning?

The first step in preventing food poisoning is to assume that all foods may cause food-borne illness. Follow these steps to prevent food poisoning: 1 Wash hands, food preparation surfaces and utensils thoroughly before and after handling raw foods to prevent recontamination of cooked foods. 2 Keep refrigerated foods below 40 degrees F. 3 Serve hot foods immediately or keep them heated above 140 degrees F. 4 Divide large volumes of food into small portions for rapid cooling in the refrigerator. Hot, bulky foods in the refrigerator can raise the temperature of foods already cooled. 5 Remember the danger zone is between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. 6 Follow approved home-canning procedures. These can be obtained from the Extension Service or from USDA bulletins. 7 Heat canned foods thoroughly before tasting. 8 When in doubt, throw it out

What foods can cause salmonella?

Salmonella. The gastrointestinal tracts of animals and man are common sources of Salmonella. High protein foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs are most commonly associated with Salmonella. However, any food that becomes contaminated and is then held at improper temperatures can cause salmonellosis.

What causes food poisoning?

More than 90 percent of the cases of food poisoning each year are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Bacillus cereus, and Entero-pathogenic Escherichia coli. These bacteria are commonly found on many raw foods.

How does S. aureus cause illness?

Man’s respiratory passages, skin and superficial wounds are common sources of S. aureus. When S. aureus is allowed to grow in foods, it can produce a toxin that causes illness. Although cooking destroys the bacteria, the toxin produced is heat stable and may not be destroyed. Staphylococcal food poisoning occurs most often in foods that require hand preparation, such as potato salad, ham salad and sandwich spreads. Sometimes these types of foods are left at room temperature for long periods of time, allowing the bacteria to grow and produce toxin. Good personal hygiene while handling foods will help keep S. aureus out of foods, and refrigeration of raw and cooked foods will prevent the growth of these bacteria if any are present.

What temperature should bacteria grow?

The temperature range in which most bacteria grow is between 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) and 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Raw and cooked foods should not be kept in this danger zone any longer than absolutely necessary. Undercooking or improper processing of home-canned foods can cause very serious food poisoning.

What causes contamination of raw and cooked foods?

Poor personal hygiene, improper cleaning of storage and preparation areas and unclean utensils cause contamination of raw and cooked foods. Mishandling of raw and cooked foods allows bacteria to grow. The temperature range in which most bacteria grow is between 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) and 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).

How do yeasts reproduce?

Yeasts are oval-shaped and slightly larger than bacteria. They reproduce most often by budding. In budding each cell can produce several buds, or swellings, which break away to form new, fully formed daughter cells.

Why is foodborne illness classified as a single class?

Apart from illness due to food allergy or food sensitivity, foodborne illness may be divided into two major classes, food infection and food intoxication.

How to destroy microorganisms?

Heat is the most practical and effective means to destroy microorganisms. Microbial cell reduction occurs slowly just above maximal growth temperatures. However, the rate of death increases markedly as the temperature is raised. Pasteurization, the destruction of vegetative cells of disease-producing microorganisms, consists of a temperature of 140°F for 30 minutes, or about 161°F for 16 seconds. Yeasts, molds, and the vegetative cells of spoilage bacteria also die at pasteurization temperatures. To render log-acid foods commercially sterile requires a retort capable of operating at temperatures above 212°F. Canners process certain canned foods at 240°F or 250°F for a considerable length of time, sometimes an hour or more depending upon the product and can size. Commercial sterility is the destruction and/or inhibition of the organisms of public health significance as well as organisms of non-health significance which could spoil the product. Microbiologists sterilize media at 250°F (121C) for 15 or 20 minutes. These examples illustrate the need for high temperatures and sufficient time to kill a population of bacteria.

Why are indicator organisms called indicator organisms?

The “indicator” organisms are so called because their presence in large numbers in food signifies one of three contamination possibilities: disease bacteria or filth; spoilage or low quality; or preparation under insanitary conditions.

What are the most important microorganisms in a food processor?

Bacteria. Bacteria are the most important microorganisms to the food processor. Most are harmless, many are highly beneficial, some indicate the probable presence of filth, disease organisms, spoilage and a few cause disease.

What is a starter culture?

As a bacteriophage of lactic or other fermentative bacteria. Bacteriophage infections of starter cultures can interfere seriously with the manufacture of cheese, buttermilk, sauerkraut, pickles, wine, beer, and other desirable fermentative products. As disease transmitted by food to human beings.

What is the smallest microorganism?

Viruses are the smallest and simplest microorganisms. Unlike bacteria, yeasts, and molds, viruses are incapable of reproducing independently. Instead, they must first invade the cells of another living organism called the host, before they can multiply. Hence, they are parasitic. Viruses are normally specific in their selection of host cells, some infecting but one species, while others are capable of infecting closely related species. As a result, viruses which infect bacteria, called bacteriophages, cannot infect human beings or other animals. On the other hand, several animal viruses , known as zoonotis, can infect human beings.

Soil Microbiology and Agriculture

Role of Bacteria in The Agriculture Field

  • Microbes, especially bacteria, play a very important role in the agricultural field. Some of the important roles of bacteria in the agriculture field are given below: 1. Decay and decomposition: Bacteria present in soil play an important role in the decay or decomposition of organic matter. They serve a double purpose. Firstly, they act as scavenge…

See more on

Bacterial Products Used in Agriculture

  • In modern agriculture, the utilisation of microbes as natural fertilisers is very common. The harmful impacts and high cost of chemical fertilisers are making them unfit to use. The agricultural productivity of the soil can also be improved by microbes found in the ground soil. Today, we are using naturally occurring microbes to produce biological products that can recycl…

See more on


  • The science of all these microorganisms present in air, soil, water is also called microbiology. Soil microbiology is one of the branches of microbiology. In soil microbiology, we study the interactions between the multiple factors responsible for various soil types in a particular place. Bacteria play a very important role in the agricultural field. Bacteria help in the decay or decomp…

See more on

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Useful Role of Bacteria in Agriculture

  • Q.1. What is the useful role of bacteria? Ans: Bacterias are useful to humankind in many ways. They are useful in agriculture, production of vitamins, medicines, and production of antibiotics, serums and vaccines, etc. Q.2. Which bacteria is useful in agriculture? Ans: Various kinds of bacteria, such as saprophytic, ammonifying, nitrifying, and nitrogen-fixing, are useful in agricultu…

See more on

Leave a Comment