Plant biotechnology is widely applied in the food industry. It addresses the demand for increased yield, disease and pest control, improved product quality and improved food processing qualifiesAlthough the adoption in other industries has been slower, it has progressed in the recent years. It is presently used in the medical industry and the fuel industry. This paper focuses on the application of plant biotechnology for food and non-food uses.
Plant biotechnology refers to the scientific techniques applied to manipulate the genetic makeup of the plant to produce an organism with a desirable trait. Plant biotechnologist may manipulate the genome of a plant by introducing genes that code for a protein that confers a desirable trait in the genetically modified variety (Srisuvor et al., 2013). For example, genes from microorganisms that code for proteins with antiviral and antifungal activity are introduced into the plant genome (Rao et al., 2015). This technology is applied in many industries but especially in the food industry. The potential applications are diverse and can only be realised by research (Morandini et al., 2011). Research should also address the ethical issues and safety concerns that challenge the adaptation of plant biotechnology.
Plant biotechnology plays a critical role in the genetic improvement of food crops. It offers effective techniques to address food security concerns (BASF 2011). It allows for increased product quality, nutritional content, economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. Small-scale farmers and food production companies aim at maximally utilizing the land available to them for food production (Stewart, 2012). Plant biotechnology addresses this need by increasing the productivity of crops and improving the growth rate of the plants as well as increasing the amount of desired product that a particular plant produces. By targeting growth regulators such as growth hormones, plant biotechnology can enhance organ and tissue growth rate in plants.