How would you like a freshly squeezed bacteria juice?Saturday, August 4th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco
I bet you don’t know what I am talking about but just to be safe you would say no, thank you!
And yet, this might happen and pretty soon! Bio-engineering is advancing rapidly (and there is also a DIY -do it yourself- package increasing the number of researchers in this field…) and several companies have started to reprogram bacteria to have them generating aromatic molecules, exactly the same that give you that yummy orange taste.
Aromatic oils are very expensive and their supply tends to vary depending on weather and also on political situations. Hence the producers of perfumes and various other products, including drink and food stuff, would welcome an alternative.
The bio-engineering is here to help. As a cell in an orange rind can create that particular molecule (valencene) that provides that good bitter orange taste, a bacteria provided with the right instructions, that is to say the same codons that in the orange rind cells make them to produce the valencene), will reduce it too. And it is easier and cost effective to farm bacteria in an industrial setting and have them producing the aromatic molecules off choice.
Notice that the bacteria are producing a molecule that is identical to the one produced by the orange rind cells so there is no issue about its safety.
The industry of aromatic molecule was worth in 2011 over 21 billion US$… No surprise that entrepreneurs are studying new ways to serve it.
Tags: bio engineering