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Biotechnology and Food Ingredients.

BIOTECHNOLOGY and FOOD INGREDIENTS. Edited by Israel Goldberg and Richard Williams. 577 pages with index. Price: 75.00 [pounds]. (UK: Chapman and Hall)

The development of genetic engineering has begun to expand the field of biotechnology, and in so doing biotechnology companies have been set up. Many of the fermentations traditionally used by the food industry are of course biotechnology in the strict sense of that word. The field also covers the pharmaceutical business and the whole business of using micro-organisms and enzymes to create new materials, streamline existing ones or allow alternative, more efficient methods of production. As it deals with living cells, the impact of the methods of genetic engineering should surpass any of the other scientific developments this century.

As the editors and publishers found, there are many books dealing with genetic engineering as a methodology, with traditional fermentations or the production of fermented dairy products. However, this text deals with the development of ingredients using biotechnological methods. The processes discussed deal with the production of enzymes, vitamins, proteins, flavours and colours. Whilst some are based on the traditional methods, many rely ever more on the techniques of genetic engineering and thus represent totally new methods.

All told, some forty contributors, including the editors, worked to produce this script. Like all multi-author texts, it is difficult to ensure that each aspect of the subject has been treated in a totally even manner but such a comment is more than offset by the fact that all these authors have set down the latest knowledge in their particular sphere of interest. The book's chapters are fully descriptive and run as follows: Introduction - food ingredient challenges; Biotechnological applications in the development of new fruits and vegetables; Mushroom mycelium grown in submerged culture - potential food applications; Food supplements from microbial protein; Protein engineering in food technology; Amino acids; Physiological effects and functional properties of dietary fibre sources; Emulsifiers and surfactants; Biogums used in food and made by fermentation; Fats, oils, fatty acids and oilseed crops; Fat substitutes; Natural and modified starches; Linear and cyclic dextrins; Citric, fumaric and malic acids; Flavour building blocks; Alternative sweeteners; Vitamins; Applications of lactic acid bacteria; Antimicrobial compounds; Antioxidants; Impact of biotechnology and new methodology on microbial testing of foods; Regulatory aspects of biotechnology- produced ingredients for food application; and Tailoring food ingredient functionality via biotechnology.

Whilst it might sound 'heavy going', the text is very readable and the authors make themselves understood in what is a rapidly advancing subject.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Food Trade Press Ltd.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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