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Overview of Yellow Biotechnology

 colors of biotechnology

Yellow Biotechnology can be said as the oldest branch of Biotechnology. It uses microorganisms or insects for the production of more nutrition-rich food products for us so Yellow Biotechnology is also called Nutritional Biotechnology or Insect Biotechnology.

In other words, Yellow Biotechnology is mainly the use of biotechnological techniques on insects or their cells to develop different products or services that are used in agriculture, medicine, and industry.

Traditional or conventional food products are not so nutrition-rich so by using Biotechnological techniques like gene modification, in-vitro cell culture technology, enzymatic and microbial activity development of most nourishing food products that are fortified with health-promoting additives fall under the Yellow Biotechnology.

Since ancient times humans use microorganisms for the production of various food and beverages like curd, bread, wine, beer, and cheese by using fermentation technology. But at that time fermentation applications were focused only on the alcoholic fermentation for the production of wine and beer.

Today due to the advancement of Biotechnological techniques and gene modification techniques, Yellow biotechnology involves in the development and production of various types of food products that are high nutrition-rich value, most nourishing, fortified, appropriate, and well-balanced diet.

Need of Yellow Biotechnology

Food production by traditional methods is crop cultivation and meat production. Crop cultivation requires large-scale land so it promotes the deforestation of forests. It also needed clean water, fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that directly pollute land and groundwater to quality. Every year major part of the crop is lost due to insects and the use of chemical insecticides harms our environment.

Meat production also requires large-scale land, clean water, heavy feed, antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, etc. Animal wastes and chemicals used in the meat production industry also pollute land and water. The meat industry emits lots of greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. Now it is challenging for scientists to meet the increasing demand for food without harming the environment.

Goals of Yellow Biotechnology

The major goal of yellow biotechnology is to providing high nutrient value quality foods to humans that have health-promoting additives without harming (or polluting) the environment. To achieve its goals yellow biotechnology uses various techniques like enzymatic, microbial, and molecular biology genetics techniques. Under yellow Biotechnology exploitation of Insects is done by using Biotechnological techniques for enhancing the bio-economy.

Insects and Yellow Biotechnology

A few decades ago, insects are considered as the enemy for humans because insects destroy our crops, compete for food sources with us, and transmitted various diseases among us. But now due to applied Entomology and Biotechnological techniques, insects are now very useful for us. Insects are now used in the production of active ingredients that are used in agriculture, medical and industrial scale.

Insect-derived enzymes, chitinases, cellulases, and Insect antenna-based Biosensors are the most common example of the application of insects in food or nutritional biotechnology.

There are lots of potential research areas of Insect Biotechnology like antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), the red flour beetle model to study interactions between genes and food ingredients, the fruit fly Drosophila to study aging, metabolic disorders, and cancer.

You Should Read: What are the different colors of biotechnology?

Applications of Yellow Biotechnology

Insects have millions of species and biodiversity. There are lots of things that we can learn from them for example their natural abilities to digest various types of food sources and defending mechanisms from various diseases and enemies.

By using their active ingredients and enzymes, which they use to defend themselves we can explore novel sources for nutrition and products that can be used for human welfare. The major applications of Yellow Biotechnology are under the following heads.

1. Insect Derived Enzymes for White Biotechnology

Insects can eat any organic products because they have specialized enzymes. These specialized enzymes can be used for the food industry and waste management of organic products.

In the food and fermentation industry, insect’s derived enzymes are commonly used for various purposes like saccharification, degradation of gluten, cellulolytic enzyme, etc. Peptidases, lipases, amylases, and β-D-glucosidases are the main insect’s derived enzymes.

2. Nutritional Food Production

Production of quality foods, improvement, and nourishment by using technologies such fortification, enzymatic, microbial, and GMOs.

Using fermentation technologies for enhancing food aroma, taste, and nutrition quality. Storage and preservation of food from the various harmful microbes and enhancing their self-life.

3. Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

Genetic engineering is the main tool for the removal and addition of particular gene codes in organisms, plants, or animals. So by removing unwanted genes from the plants or animals and the addition of useful genes provides more nutritious, healthy, and tasty food.

Majorly grown agricultural crops like maize, rice, wheat, paddy, tomato, eggplant, bean, cauliflower, potato, apple, orange, etc. are already genetically modified and successfully grown at the commercial level. Similarly, animals that are used for eggs and meat production are also genetically modified for high-quality eggs and meat.

4. In-Vitro Cell Culture Technology

By using animal tissue culture techniques test-tube meat was also produced. For the production of meat, in vitro cell culture technology is used on adult cow stem cells.

5. Drugs from Insects

Lucilia sericata (common green bottle fly) is used for the treatment of chronic or non-healing wounds. Larval secretions of Lucilia sericata in-vitro were found to improve wound closure.

6. RNAi technology for Insect Pest Management

Insects are major pests that affect the crop directly or indirectly and they are the major constraint to fulfill global food demands. Traditional pest control strategies like chemical, mechanical, biological, etc. have limitations. Using chemicals and pesticides is harmful to the environment and for us. The use of existing transgenic approaches also has certain limitations.

RNAi (RNA interference) technology is sequence-specific silencing for the targeted gene is a naturally occurring process in plants that provide defense against pathogens or pests. So using RNAi technology we can control of maximum types of insects.

7. Insect Chitinases as Biopesticides

Chitinases isolated from the insects such as tobacco hornworm, silkworm, Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta, etc. Insect chitinases are used as the biological control agent for pest control either alone or with combination insecticidal proteins like Bacillus thuringiensis.

You Should Try to Solve: Quiz on Colors of Biotechnology

Scope of Yellow Biotechnology

After Red, Green, and White Biotechnology, Yellow Biotechnology is the major field of interest in the world for the research under Biotechnology.

A lot of research work is needed on insects for exploitation of their industrial and agriculture applications to provide nutritional food to all. So to meet the increasing demand for food without harming our environment can be solved by using it.

Recommended Books on Yellow Biotechnology

If you want to study in deep and understand Yellow Biotechnology in detail then we can recommend some books on Yellow Biotechnology that you should study.

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