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Ocean organism could be key to animal-free meat

Date: 6.5.2022 

A fungus-like microbe taken from the pristine waters of South Australia could prove to be a vital ingredient in making everything from nutritional supplements, medicines and biofuels to animal-free meat, according to Flinders University researchers.

Kredit: E. Deragon et al. (2021) / Wikimedia Commons.Writing in the journal Trends in Biotechnology, Associate Professor Puri and colleagues say thraustochytrids (a group of marine microbes) could prove a valuable source for not only nutritional supplements, but provide for other industries, to produce medicine, cosmetics, aquaculture, biofuels and, eventually, animal-free meat.

"By tuning the thraustochytrids through precision fermentation, we can produce single-cell oil (SCO), which can be used by the nutraceutical industry for producing supplements and other nutraceuticals, with the added advantage that it doesn't require agricultural land and can be cultivated in a controlled environment, keeping the SCO free from contamination," says Associate Professor Puri.

"We also know that thraustochytrids can produce a wide range of high-value bioproducts, such as omega-3 fatty acids, squalene (used in cosmetics and vaccines), exopolysaccharides (used in pharmaceuticals), enzymes, aquaculture feed, pigments and lipids suitable for biodiesel composition."





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