Ever since the Second World War there has been great scientific interest in the potential of microorganisms to grow rapidly and produce quantities of protein which can be processed and used as food, either for farm animals or for man himself. In the 1950s petroleum was regarded as the ideal source of energy and carbon for microorganisms, particularly for bacteria. Nowadays, because of the rapid increase in the price of oil, more scientists are working on biotechnical processes in which microfungi synthesise proteins from a variety of starches and sugars.
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