Biology of Food

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Microbes are ubiquitous in the environment; many of them are harmful to human and animal life, but the bulk of them have certain properties that can be harnessed for to human use. Into the later category falls the yeast or fungi known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These particular fungi are unicellular and lack chlorophyll and consequently obtain their nutrition from the breakdown for of sugars to yield carbohydrates. This particular property is harnessed in the bakery industry to make dough to rise, ; the yeast is added to dough and it breaks down sugar in the dough and releases carbon dioxide that leaves the dough in bubbles that force the dough to rise., Tthis process is known as fermentation.

This same principle is applied in to the process of making of alcoholic beverages like beer, whisky, Madeira, port and rum. In alcoholic beverage making howeverHowever, sometimes an all togetherabsolutely different yeast is employed in this process. The fungi Saccharomyces carlsbergensis as well asand S. cerevisiae are employed in the process of fermentation of sugary slurries, fruit juices of fruits and other such similar liquids to brew alcoholic beverages. The fermentative fermentation process requires that the yeast, to be added to the substrate to be fermented and left for a period of time, after which the yeasts will break down the sugars contained in the juice, which is their source of food.

In order to make beer, a source of starch rich source is needed. In many countries barley is used; other countries use, sorghum, wheat, millet and even rice (sake) to make beer. The beer manufacturing process of beer begins with the soaking of the cereals in water and spreading them out to germinate. After a few days of exposure of these cereals to moisture, they begin to sprout roots and shoots; this process is known as malting. This process is vital because in the germination process of germination enzymes convert the starch in these cereals into sugars which will provide food for the yeasts. The germination is terminated by transferring the sprouts into a kiln and heating them, after which they are ground into a slurry known as grist. This grist has water stirred into it in very definite proportions and temperatures (65°c), ). the The water used in this process is very important as the minerals that it contains, give beer its flavor and properties, ; this mixture is called the Wortwort. Beer usually has a bitter taste and this taste comes from the addition of hops. The hops are is added to the Wort wort and boiled for up to two hours and extra sugar might be added depending on the kind of beer being produced, . after After this is done the Wort wort is rapidly quickly cooled and filtered before being moved into fermenting vats where the standardized yeast is added and fermentation takes place. At temperatures of 8-12°Cc the fermentation process begins and the carbon dioxide, which is gas produced, is conducted away from the container., eventually Eventually it is stoppered and the beer begins to be carbonated by the pressure that builds up in the vat, while the fermentation process which takes about two weeks is going on, . the The specific gravity of the mixture is measured regularly to determine how much alcohol is in the beer to ascertainand when the requisite alcohol is attained at which point, the process is terminated. The yeast settles at the baseto the bottom of the fermenter, which is cone shapedical bottomed vat and the beer is taken off and filtered again.

Should If the malting process continue is uninterrupted, the result will be that the sugar which would have formed the substrate for the fermentation process would have beenwill be completely used up by during the seed’s’ metabolic process. This process begins after the seeds is are immersed in water and absorbs sufficient quantities of it. the The entry of the water into the seeds stimulates the release of gibberellic acid, which is a plant growth hormone, . growth Growth begins and the sugar stores are used up to fuel the plant goes on to produce cotyledons to harness sunlight for and to convert it into energy once that the store of sugar is exhausted.

In wine making the food for the microbes comes from the sugars contained in the juices used in wine manufacturemanufacturing, . for For example if grapes are crushed to make wine the sugar in the extracted juices, is the source of food for the yeasts that ferment sugars to produce the alcoholic beverage.

The process of making of beer often requires the addition of sugars and some fermentative elements. to the beer making process howeverHowever, this step has been rendered redundant in the wine making process because the wine made from grapes, for instance, does not require either any additives. The grapes themselves are very rich in sugar which is a readily available source of food for the microbes that are involved in the fermentation process. Additionally the yeast which the brewers employ in beer brewing is an adjunct and requires specific care and some financial investment. For theAs to the process of making of wines, since the yeast is on the ectodermcontained in of the grapes (in grape wine for instance) and the sugar is contained in the grape juice; as a result the fermentation of wines there is a more cost effective ness forthan that while producing the fermentation of wines over beer.

A pre-existing plant is bordering onfaced with extinction and due to its low numbers it is pushed to the edge of the ecosystem, but conditions change and the environment becomes arid and this forces some of the plants to synthesize a new chemical compound X. as is the pattern herbivores Herbivores come to eat the leaves of this plant but as it turns out, only those plants that did not synthesize chemical X are eaten, because the animals that ate the X containing plants hated the taste and it made them sick so they learnt to avoid it. Over time, the plants that have the chemical X begin began to flourish and gain in population as a result of the toxin that they have evolved. As such any insect that is able to eat this plant acquires some of it properties and is able to avoid being consumption consumed by its natural predators. As One of the exemplified examples in is the relationship between the monarch butterfly butterflies and the milkweed plants. In some cases predators have developed means of avoiding toxic prey toxins like in the case of the common garter snake and the rough- skinned newt.

They are the fruits Fruits of the a plant; they serve as a means of procreation. They plants Plants evolved this method of seed dispersal because often the animals that come to eat the fruits carry them the seeds some distancefar away from the parent tree, and so when they have taken this fruit and eaten it, they drop the seeds wherever the fruit was eaten. In such a that way they transferring the seeds and ensuring ensure that the plant is dispersed. The seed is hidden in the kernel and it contains amygdalin which converts to cyanide in the stomach and is toxic ensuring that the animals learnt not to eat the seedfruit.

Squash blossoms are sold in at farmers markets and are eaten stuffed with cheese and other things, . the The blossoms are actually the reproductive parts of the plants or the flowers. Squash plants are monoecious; this means that instead of having a separate male and female plants, the squash plant has both male and female parts (anther and stigma) on in one plant. As is known from basic biology, the fertilization of flowers and plants in general happens when pollen grains move from the anther to stigma, so for the squash plant those flowers serve specific as means of reproductionve ends. Additionally the y help to prevent the plant being eaten because they contain quantities of the chemical; curcurbitacins, highly toxic compounds. This chemical is a plant steroid which might not be present in the domestic varieties, but in those plants where it is present, its rather bitter taste discourages herbivores from eating it.

The A slice of a turkey slice that is consumed is actually muscle tissue, ; the itmuscle is the tissue that is attached to bone (in most cases), and are is contractile in nature and enables certain functions to be carries carried out. in In the birds these functions include; : locomotion, digestion and the plumage display in males. Muscles contain myoglobin and certain proteins/fibers; : Actin actin and myosin whose the synchronized movement of which creates the a typical contractile movement of muscles. Consumption of muscles provides us with much needed proteins.

The truth is that humans from time have always been omnivores omnivorous. the The omnivorous diet is evidenced by the kind of tools which were discovered alongside human remains or around places of human settlements. the The cutting tools and the paintings were discovered in areas where the humans lived; these facts provide indisputable evidence that suggests that indeed flesh was an important part of human diet from the early moments of history. Anatomically we as humans have canines which are primarily for present in flesh eating animals, ; in herbivores this particular kind of teeth is absent as is has no use in such animals don`t need them. Their presence in humans in is anatomical evidence that humans were have never been exclusive herbivores (or vegans as it is known today). The story of human migration supports this story as the migrating humans in every case have werebeen shown to beas active hunters who went after fish and game to provide them and their families with a means of sustenance for them and their families. In all of the sites where fossils have werebeen found, the tools and the animal remains that were found there as well, which around those sites provides no significant evidence of a vegetarian-like diet.

For Ppeople who chose the vegetarian life style there might be face certain issues, since plants are not always able to provide all the nutrients needed for to their bodies. Some Nutrientsnutrients, like vitamin B12, which isare vital for nerve development, blood formation and cell development. When this vitamin is deficient in food for extended periods a particular kind of anemia (B12 deficiency anemia) develops as well as nerve damage. So vegetarians need to find alternative sources of food. one One of the more most popular sources is nutritional yeast, fortified soy milk and fortified energy bars.

As part of their standard diet, many cultures have meals that pair legumes with cereals/grains like rice. This is an action that provides a more balanced meal. Legumes like beans and lentils hen people are as rich in plant protein as and are cereals are rich in carbohydrates. When people combine these two foodsproducts, they give provide themselves a better chance of havingwith a balanced meal. Legumes like beans, peas and lentils are a good source of a very important amino acid; , lysine, lysine is an essential amino acid; this means that although the body needs this substance it cannot synthesize it by itself. Lysine is essential for the proper growth and is one of the substances required for the synthesis of collagen. And as such it must be derived from the diet thus a meal that contains peas and grains adequately provide this food source.

To improve increase the amount of protein content ofin foods is one of the tasks that biotechnologists regularly research and try to carry out. When they have the codon for the required trait (improved lysine content) they get the DNA sequence for the required plant and insert the specified codon into it.; and then they reintroduce this modified gene sequence into the plant in many casesmostly using a plasmid as a vector . After this is done the effectiveness of the exercise carried out will be verified by evaluating the lysine content of the plant after harvest. After this is concluded in the lab, the plant is field tested and if it retains the desired qualities and shows no ill side effects, then it is transferred to different fields for further tests. Then cross-pollination studies are carried out to test what effect, if any, that the GM food will have on the natural varieties of the plant. The main point of conflict with regards to GM foods lies with in the fear among its critics that these modified foods in some way could introduce diseases that science is as yet not unprepared for. Another fear is that introducing these mutated foods could in turn introduce mutations/cancers in humans, . additionally Additionally since many GM foods are seedless they will require biotech companies to provide them with seeds. Furthermore, the nature of these plants might give rise to superbugs which might become resistant to the chemicals used in controlling them, leading, to a more serious food problem.

For vital crops like corn the above argumentsIt is hold true that the genetically modified corn can be made resistant to bugs that affect corn, have a much shorter maturation time, and yield much more corn per ear of corn. On paper these These are lofty goals but the truth is that the number of allergies that havewhich resulted in populations, where GM foods have beenhad been introduced, have risen as has the number of organ specific chronic illnesses as well as depressed decreased immunity. Low birth weight has been noted in lab animals fed with GM corn as well as high infant mortality. On the basis of this, there is sufficient evidence against GM foods to require some measures taken caution withagainst production of GM foods especially since doctors have instructed that they should be avoided at least for now at least. (geneticallyAmerican Academy of Environmental Medicine modified foods, n.d)

Conclusion

Food security is an emerging problem nowadays. in this age several Several solutions have been proffered on the issue and in addition to the increasing number of incidences of neoplasms and their alleged relationship to GM foods. The solution might not lie in the increased production of genetically modified foods but in providing farmers in the third world countries with better farming technology; tractors and other machinery, better agricultural practices and investment in better storage facilities, must be provided to eliminate the massive amounts of food being lost wasted every yearly to waste.

References

  1. American Academy of Environmental Medicine., (n.d) Genetically MODIFIED FOODS.

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