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Single cell proteins (SCP) are the edible dead, dry cells of micro-organisms that can be used as protein source in human food and animal feed, either as whole living cell or in dried form. Microbial species of yeast, fungi and bacteria that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), can be used as a source of single cell protein. Inexpensive microbial growth culture components can be utilized as source of carbon and energy to grow these microorganisms as biomass, amino acids or protein source. Besides being used as food or feed supplement, single cell protein strains have diverse range of properties, as it can eradicate pathogenic microorganism from human or animal gut either by competition with available nutrient sources or by producing enzymes or metabolites with antimicrobial activities. Due to increase in population around the globe, the global demand for high-quality protein rich foods have increased. Novel approaches for alternative sources are needed to meet the global challenges. SCP strains with capacity to produce cell wall degrading enzymes and metabolites with antimicrobial activity can play a major role to meet the global food demand. Poultry farming of broiler and layer is already playing an important role to meet the need of protein in the developing world. However, high nucleic acid content, un-digestible cell wall, unacceptable flavors and colors and high contamination rate are the certain limitations that need further attention.
Keywords: Conventional and unconventional substrate; Fermentation; Food production; Malnutrition; Single cell protein