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Single Cell Proteins

A 3000 year old art with a touch of 21st century biotechnology

Mohamed El-Gazzar

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Single Cell Proteins

"Biotechnology is the
major technology of the 21 century, yet few people realize how much it impacts our society"
However humans have been doing it for more then 3000 years.
Nutrition is an important part of everyday life.
The demand for sources of nutrition increase with every coming year.


The term Single Cell Protein (SCP) refers to the dried microbial cells or total protein extracted from pure microbial cell culture (Algae, bacteria, filamentous fungi, yeasts),
which can be used as food supplement to humans (Food Grade) or animals (Feed grade).

Single cell protein



The consumption of microorganisms by man and animals is not a revolutionary new idea. For thousands of years man has consumed, either intentionally or unintentionally, such products as alcoholic beverages, cheeses, yogurt, and soya sauce and, along with these products, the microbial biomass responsible for their production. The rapid growth rate and high protein content of microbes and their ability to
utilize inexpensive feed stocks as sources of carbon and energy for growth have made microorganisms prime candidates for use as human food and animal feed protein supplements. Yet, in spite of their promise, only a limited number of commercial-scale, single-cell protein (SCP) processes have been seen. Recently, with the advent of recombinant DNA technology a rebirth of interest in SCP has resulted. This review analyzes the answers to two questions: (1) how far have we come?; and (2) what impact, if any, will the new biotechnologies have in this field?


Bacteria can produce as much as
TONNES of protein
a day! More than the output
of 120 cows....
John E. Smith
The single-cell protein must be dehydrated to approximately 10% moisture content and/or acidified to aid in storage and prevent spoilage.

High rate of replication  hence rapid succession of generation (algae: 2-6hours, yeast: 1-3 hours, bacteria: 0.5-2 hours)
They can be easily genetically modified for varying the amino acid composition.
A very high protein content 43-85 % in the dry mass.
They can utilize a broad spectrum of raw materials as carbon sources, which include even waste products. Thus they help in the removal of pollutants also.
Land requirements is low and is ecologically beneficial.
It is not dependent on climate

Single cell protein production is a very expensive procedure as it needs high level of sterility control in the production unit or in the laboratory.
The possibility of presence of toxins or carcinogenic compounds 
Poor digestibility
Ingested protein may cause allergic reaction

In the 1950s scientists and global organizations
such as
became concerned that in the near future the need and demand for food would grow, and how right they were.
(include wood, straw,and food-processing wastes, residues from alcohol production, hydrocarbons, or human and animal excreta)
Food (population & pollution)
treatment of some diseases
Vitamin B12 supplements
Thank you
Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals. There are two species, Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.
Nutrient and vitamin content
Protein :_
It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids,
though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk.

Fertility, teratogenicity, peri- and post-natal, and multi-generational studies on animals also have found no adverse effects from spirulina consumption.
In a 2009 study, 550 malnourished children were fed up to 10 g/day of spirulina powder, with no adverse effects.

Toxicological studies
research :_
The primary active component of spirulina is
Animal studies have evaluated spirulina in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced heart damage , diabetes mellitus
and in rodent models of hay fever

Microorganisms as food

countries with the childhood diseases of kwashiorkor and marasmus. As a result, several international organizations, including the World Health.
Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), considered how this protein deficiency
could be alleviated and one of many proposals was to examine the possible use of microbial-derived protein as a food supplement or as an animal feed source to substitute for protein-rich cereals .

Malnutrition problems related to single cell protein

Bacteria and yeasts 20–120 minutes
Molds and algae 2–6 hours
Organism Time required to double biomass

In the 1950s, agriculturalists and nutritionists were becoming concerned that in the near future traditional sources of protein,
such as cattle, pigs and poultry, would not be adequate for the increasing world demand.In essence, they envisaged a global shortage of protein foods resulting in extensive protein malnutrition, as was being seen in some developing

Through the use of biotechnology we are able to generate large amounts of food substances to satisfy human needs.
Utilize our understanding of how planet earth interacts with us living organisms to create perfect harmony.
microbs will ferment wastes to produce SCP but with
diluted form (only 5%)
How is it made

is derived from
Fusarium venenatum
fungus. Mycoprotein is produced by a process of fermentation of the fugues by single cell protein technique.

Quorn products are made from Mycoprotein. Mycoprotein is a nutritionally healthy protein
is derived from
Fusarium venenatum
fungus. Mycoprotein is produced by a process of fermentation of the fugues by single cell protein technique.
source that is meat free and naturally low in saturated fat and high in fibers.
Quorn products have the taste, appearance and texture of meat. So it allows vegetarian people to make their meals healthier and more delicious .
There are many products like burgers, nuggets which ca be quickly prepared fried or BBQ parties

Reduce body fat
increase immunity

1. Zheng, J., et al., Phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin from Spirulina platensis protect against diabetic nephropathy by inhibiting oxidative stress. Vol. 304. 2013. R110-R120.
2. Harshvardhan, K. and B. Jha, Biodegradation of low-density polyethylene by marine bacteria from pelagic waters, Arabian Sea, India. Mar Pollut Bull, 2013. 77(1-2): p. 100-6.
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