Genfood - Genetic Helpers

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  • Genfood - in the supermarket?
  • Genfood - Genetic Helpers

Microorganisms as Genetic Assistants

Many food technology processes involve small helpers, so-called microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts or fungi. For example, they mix with beer brewing, yoghurt production and cheese ripening. Since they are needed on a large scale today, many of these microorganisms come from the gene workshop. They are modified using genetic engineering techniques so that they produce certain substances at low cost. These are then used as additives and auxiliaries in the food industry.

Lab for cheese production

Labferment is needed to produce cheese. Lab is found in the calf's stomach and contains the enzyme chymosin, which causes milk protein to clot. By adding the rennet, the thickening of the milk is initiated. In addition to an animal lab from calf stomach, the enzyme can today also be obtained with the aid of genetically modified microorganisms.
For these genetically engineered helpers, there are no special regulations for approval and labeling. By law, they are considered as technical auxiliaries, these do not have to be listed on the ingredients list. The current state of knowledge shows that there are no residues of the genetically modified microorganisms in the produced foods, since there are several processing stages between the production of the substances and the finished foods.

Genetically modified feed

The production of meat, milk and eggs has reached a dimension in Europe which makes the import of large quantities of animal feed essential. In particular, soybeans are imported from North and South America. As a rule, feed also contains components of genetically modified soybeans. However, it can be assumed that the food produced in each case has no differences to purely conventional production. For example, several studies have shown that genetically modified feed can not be detected in milk.

So far, genetic engineering has found its way into our supermarkets only indirectly. In Europe, there is still great reluctance towards this technology. However, global developments show that genetic engineering will continue to expand in many areas.

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