- is a key ingredient in cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products.
Chymosin is an enzyme that makes milk curdle, an important step
in the cheese making process. This enzyme occurs naturally in
the stomachs of some animals.
used to get chymosin from calf stomachs. But calf stomachs are
not a practical source for large quantities of chymosin, and cheesemakers
need a lot! To create a sizable steady supply, scientists searched
for ways the enzyme could be produced in mass quantities.
engineering provides an alternative process for producing chymosin.
Scientists take cells from a calf's stomach, and isolate the genes
responsible for producing chymosin. Those genes are then spliced
into the genetic material of yeast cells. The yeast cells with
the calf genes now produce chymosin. Yeast can easily be grown
in industrial size quantities to get large amounts of chymosin.
was the first food product derived from biotechnology to be approved
by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Genetically engineered
chymosin allows vegetarians to avoid eating animal by-products
(glossary ID 41).
See a list of foods with genetically engineered ingredients that
are in your local grocery store. http://www.ucsusa.org/food/0biotechnology.html