Industrial microbiology is a specific domain wherein advanced techniques of microbiology are utilized for screening, management, improvement, and exploitation of micro-organisms to produce several useful end products on a large scale.
Industrial microbiology finds vast applications in industry. Most of these applications are related to the production of diverse industrial products using micro-organisms. Apart from general use industrial products, food products are often produced using industrial microbiology techniques. Typical products of industrial microbiology include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and construction materials. Generally micro-organisms will be modified or will be used to aid large scale industrial production.
Producing enzymes, the study of operations and designs of bio-reactors, processes for creating industrially significant metabolites, quality assurance, medical microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics, and immunology form some of the optional modules of an industrial microbiology degree programs.
Apart from the fundamentals of industrial microbiology, bio-technology and bio-chemistry, industrial microbiology graduates will be trained in techniques used for discovery, production, bio-processing and cell banking of industrial microbiology substances. Industrial microbiology is rapidly finding vast applications in domains such as industrial food protection, chemical manufacturing, protein, and other useful product production; Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) generation, storage, and applications are some of the key domains of industrial microbiologists. Important aspects of microbial physiology, micro-organisms and their versatility, as well as diverse metabolic activities and products are some of the main topics of study in the area. Large scale cultivation and the isolation of industrial micro-organisms for fermentation is also a significant area of study for graduates. Thorough knowledge of industrial fermentation and the manipulation of these processes is another significant area.
Industrial microbiologists also find work in the medicinal domain, such as in preparing antibiotics, antimicrobials for treating diseases, and pharmacological microbial metabolites (used to treat hypertension, obesity, coronary heart diseases and other disorders). Vaccines are another useful domain of industrial microbiology, with new diagnostic assay systems being developed by industrial microbiologists after screening new microbial sources. Food flavoring, curing, and production on a mass scale are all done through the utilization of developments in industrial microbiology tools. Industrial microbiologists are using novel techniques to extract fuel from rocks and to recycle metals. A vast number of new applications are springing up from metallurgical applications of industrial microbiology, and sustainability is a key area of contribution. Industrial microbiologists are also working on contamination control, waste and water treatment, and recycling in order to promote a cleaner environment.
Industrial microbiologists with a good ability to practically apply the relevant theoretical concepts find careers as research assistants in a number of organizations; they also find vacancies in industry and academia.
There are several online sources of information available related to industrial microbiology. JIMBT, JIMB, SIMB, JAMB and AIMB are some of several vast sources of information and events in industrial microbiology.
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