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Current Opinion in Food Science
Vol. 32, 2020

Microbial production of bioactive chemicals for human health

Xia Wu1, Jian Zha1,2, Mattheos AG Koffas2,3

School of Food and Biological Engineering, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710021, China


Bioactive compounds are a collection of compounds that have certain effects on humans and animals that consume them. Since many bioactive compounds are beneficial to human health, they are attracting increasing attention in modern life, and their rising consumption stimulates the development of novel production modes that are more efficient than the traditional way, which relies on chemical synthesis or extraction from natural tissues. Among the emerging production techniques, biotechnology-based generation using fermentation of genetically engineered microorganisms shows great potential as an alternative to the current manufacturing systems, and has actually been applied for the industrial supply of some bioactive compounds. In this review, we highlight the microbial production of some typical bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, polysaccharides, amino acids, and vitamins. Also, we discuss the underlying disadvantages of some microbial systems and point out the future directions for system optimization.

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