GREEN BIOTECHNOLOGY

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GREEN BIOTECHNOLOGY CONCERNS THE PRIMARY SECTOR (AGRICULTURE AND ZOOTECHNICAL SECTORS) AND THE ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOOD CHAIN .

The most innovative applications, that are currently the object of a widespread debate on ethical questions, concern the mechanisms for the selection and reproduction of plants and animals. The (bio)technologies connected with the selection (mainly, genetic modification and assisted selection using molecular markers) are used to find, introduce, suppress or modify particular genetic characteristics. The aim of the interventions is to improve the characteristics of the plants and animals, in order to achieve tolerance and resistance to external agents (pesticides, pathogens, etc.), and to increase the quantity and quality of the product, etc. The main reproduction techniques (micropropagation, organogenesis, embryonic transfer, cloning, etc.) are used to increase the number of plants and animals reproduced with the desired characteristics, in the same time and for the same cost.

 

THE OLDEST BIOTECHNOLOGIES ARE THOSE CONNECTED WITH FOODSTUFFS (BREAD, WINE, ETC.). CURRENTLY, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT APPLICATIONS IN THE FOODSTUFF SECTOR CONCERN:

  • the use of enzymes in agro-industry to optimize production processes and improve the qualitative characteristics (appearance, digestibility, dietetic properties, etc.) of the product. Enzymes in particular, are used in the production of drinks (fruit juices and others), meat, dairy products, baked products, fats and sweeteners, etc.;
  • diagnostic control in the food chain. The objectives are: foodstuff safety (for example identifying pathogens such as salmonella) and food traceability (particularly important when using genetically modified organisms).

A FIELD WITH A POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT IS THE NUTRIGENETIC SECTOR, WHICH IS FOCUSED ON FINDING THE MOST SUITABLE NUTRITIONAL MODEL FOR A SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL, BASED ON HIS/HER GENOTYPES. THE AIM IS TO PREVENT OR REDUCE THE EFFECTS OF SERIOUS AILMENTS (DIABETES, OBESITY, ETC.) USING A TAILOR-MADE DIET.

As for the animal world, further applications concern:

  • the veterinary field. Generally speaking, therapeutic and diagnostic solutions are developed firstly for human use, due to the high cost of research and development which must be repaid; at a later date, some solutions used for humans are also used on animals. The applications follow different market strategies depending on whether they are for pets or farm animals;
  • the use of additives in feed, mainly enzymes, amino acids and vitamins. These additives are used to increase and improve animal growth, reduce nutrition costs and environmental impact, etc.


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