Microbial protein refers to dead, dry microbial cells or total proteins extracted from pure microbial cell culture and is produced using a number of different microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and algae, which are used as protein supplement in human foods or animal feeds. It can also be called single cell protein, bio protein or biomass. Microorganisms, utilize inexpensive feedstock and wastes as sources of carbon and energy for growth to produce biomass, protein concentrate or amino acids. Besides high protein content (about 60-82% of dry cell weight), microbial protein also contains fats, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, vitamins and minerals like potassium, phosphorus. Another advantage with microbial protein is that it is rich in certain essential amino acids like lysine, methionine which are limiting in most plant and animal. With increase in population and worldwide protein shortage the use of microbial biomass as food and feed is more highlighted. One of the most prominent applications of microbial protein (single cell protein) is that it can be used as dietary supplements to address important issues like malnutrition especially in the developing countries.
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