Bioproducts

Nick B.

What is a Bioproduct?

Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field of work and study. Biotech or biotechnology is any practice that uses living organisms or parts of living organisms to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for a specific purpose. A bioproduct is essentially a product of biotechnology. Bioproducts can include plants, animals, and microorganisms developed or improved through biotechnology.

How does it work? / Examples of Bioproducts:

Biotechnology has had its biggest impact in the agriculture industry. The most commonly known examples of bioproducts are genetically engineered crops. For example, many vegetables have been genetically engineered to repel pests. One genetic alteration that protects crops against pests is a change in their genetic make-up that results in a taste that is unpalatable to most pests. Also, many vegetables have been genetically altered with the insertion of a gene from a soil microorganism, this enables the crops to withstand sprays from broad and nonselective herbicides used to kill weeds.

Biotech and the growing popularity of bioproducts have had a positive impact on the environment. By genetically altering crops to withstand pests and viruses independently, the need for chemicals and herbicides previously used for these purposes has been nearly eliminated. This has led to a decreasing amount of chemicals in use and thus a decreasing amount of chemicals in the environment due to runoff and pollution.

What do Bioproducts do? What advantages do they offer?

Biotech cultivars offer the potential to reduce chemical use, save growers money, and improve crop yields. Other advantages of bioproducts in the form of consumer produce are longer shelf life, shorter growing season, improved flavor, and improved nutrition. Perhaps the most important bioproduct in this field is Golden Rice. Many experts believe that Golden Rice is one of the most important scientific breakthroughs in recent history. This new type of genetically altered rice has better nutritional value, a shorter growing time, and better versatility in terms of what climate and terrain it can grow in. The implications that this breakthrough has in relation to the state of hunger in the international community are exciting to say the least.

Helpful Links:

http://www.oit.doe.gov/agriculture/

http://www.oit.doe.gov/agriculture/portfolio.shtml

http://www.oit.doe.gov/agriculture/resources.shtml

http://www.oit.doe.gov/agriculture/biotech_ag.shtml

http://ift.confex.com/ift/2002/techprogram/session_1307.htm