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Bioprocessing

Bioprocessing

Bioprocessing is any process that uses complete living cells or their components (e.g., bacteria, enzymes, chloroplasts) to obtain desired products.

Bioprocessing is used in several emerging industries and technologies, including the production of renewable biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, therapeutic stem cells, gene therapy vectors, and new vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration imposes stringent regulations on bioprocessing in the biotech industry.

Bioprocessing is another way to describe biomanufacturing. This area includes the design and development of methods and equipment for manufacturing products from biological materials. The products that are made include cosmetics, fuel, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, nutraceuticals, polymers, paper, food, and animal feed.

Bioprocessing can be divided in three stages. Stage I : Upstream processing which involves preparation of liquid medium, separation of particulate and inhibitory chemicals from the medium, sterilization, air purification etc. Upstream processes include selection of a microbial strain characterized by the ability to synthesize a specific product having the desired commercial value. This strain then is subjected to improvement protocols to maximize the ability of the strain to synthesize economical amounts of the product. Included in the upstream phase is the fermentation process itself, which usually is carried out in large tanks known as fermenters or bioreactors.

Stage II: Fermentation which involves the conversion of substrates to desired product with the help of biological agents such as microorganisms.

Stage III: Downstream processing, which involves separation of cells from the fermentation broth, purification and concentration of desired product and waste disposal or recycle.

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