Add to collection
  • + Create new collection
  • See below for a list of interesting facts relating to biotech at home.

    • The natural yellow colour of butter comes mainly from beta-carotene found in the grass the cows graze on.
    • In vitro breeding techniques have been used to create blue orchids and roses that smell like chocolate.
    • How much seaweed do you eat? Seaweed extracts can be found as an ingredient in many foods, including fish fingers, ice-cream and beer.
    • Antifreeze proteins found in the blood of many fish are often added to icecream to prevent the formation of large ice crystals.
    • Keratin, a protein extracted from sheep wool, is used in cosmetics and health products to strengthen hair and nails.
    • New Zealanders dispose of enough rubbish to fill a rugby field thirty stories high each month, 65% of this could be recycled or composted.
    • Genetically modified microorganisms are used to produce vitamins, additives, and processing agents for the food industry.
    • Over two thousands years ago the workers building the Great Wall of China were fed with fermented cabbage.
    • Pickling in salt brine encourages fermentation of 'good' bacteria, which reduces food spoilage caused by 'bad' bacteria.
    • Yoghurt is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk, which turns milk sugars into lactic acid.
    • Meat can be tenderized with papaya as this fruit contains an enzyme, called papain, which digests the connective proteins in meat.
    • In compost heaps microorganisms break down organic matter and produce carbon dioxide, water, heat, and humus, a stable organic end product.
    • Man learnt to preserve food using lactic acid fermentation before he could tame fire.
    • Bread rises because fermenting yeast gives off carbon dioxide gas that is trapped in the bread dough.
    • In the right conditions, earthworms can eat their own weight in food every day. For example, 1kg of earthworms can eat 1kg of food daily.
    • The energy that reaches the earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activity in one year.
    • Making paper from recycled content rather than new trees creates 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution.
    • 800 million plastic bags go to landfill every year in New Zealand.
    • About 93% of today's paper comes from trees, and paper is responsible for about a fifth of the total wood harvest worldwide.
    • Rubbish is one of the biggest threats to our natural areas. It can injure wildlife and human visitors.
    • Approximately 282,000 tonnes of hazardous waste is sent to landfill each year.
    • A disposable nappy will take over 75 years to break down.
    • Contradictory to our green eco image New Zealand is one of the highest rubbish producers next to the USA, UK and Australia.
    • Producing one ton of paper requires 2-3 times its weight in trees.
    • A sheet of writing paper might contain fibres from hundreds of different trees that have collectively traveled thousands of kilometres.
    • The white rind on cheeses like camenbert and brie is a type of fungus.
    • The water inside a popcorn kernel needs to reach up to 200°C for it to pop. When the popcorn explodes it turns inside out.
    • Kiwifruit has almost the same amount of vitamin C as two oranges or five lemons.
    • An ice cream headache is caused by nerves in the roof of the mouth that are sensitive to cold and make blood vessels in your forehead tighten up.
    • Remains of cheese have been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old.
    • Fortune cookies are not Chinese, they were invented in Los Angeles around 1920.
    • 750 tonnes of Marmite, equivalent to the weight of 500 cars, is produced at the Sanitarium factory in Christchurch every year.
    • Eggs explode in the microwave. Because of their size and shape eggs heat in the middle, steam builds up, and the pressure breaks the shell.
    • Eggs will age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.
    • Eggplants are actually fruits, and classified botanically as berries!
    • According to The Code of Hammurabi of ancient Babylonia (c. 1750 BC) a merchant could be put to death for diluting beer.
    • Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream is between 36 and 40% butterfat.
    • New Zealanders eat 312 million Weet-Bix every year; laid end to end they would stretch from Kaitaia to Bluff and then back to Wellington.
    • It takes 100 litres of milk to make 15 litres of cottage cheese.
    • The coffee filter was invented in 1908 by German housewife Melitta Benz when she used blotter paper to filter out the coffee grinds.

    Go here for more fun facts on food.

      Published 23 October 2007, Updated 1 June 2019 Referencing Hub articles
          Go to full glossary
          Download all