Biotechnological Production of Vitamins

Shrikant A. Survase, Ishwar B. Bajaj and Rekha S. Singhal

Food and Fermentation Technology Department, Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India

Article history:

Received December 20, 2005
Accepted March 20, 2006

Key words:

vitamins, fermentation, biotechnological production


Vitamins are defined as essential micronutrients that are required in trace quantity and cannot be synthesized by mammals. Apart from their in vivo nutritional and physiological roles as growth factors for men, animals, plants and microorganisms, vitamins are now being increasingly introduced as food/feed additives, as medical-therapeutic agents, as health aids, and also as technical aids. Production of vitamins by chemical synthesis, or extraction from their known sources has serious disadvantages. This led to an increased interest in substituting these processes with biotechnological processes. For several of these compounds microbiological and algal processes exist, or are rapidly emerging. Different methods like media optimization, mutation and screening, genetic engineering and biocatalyst conversion have been used for improvement of the production of vitamins. The survey describes the current state of vitamin production by biotechnological processes and their significance, as compared to the existing chemical processes.


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