Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the major manufacturer of “biotechnology products” worldwide, exceeding production, in capacity and economic profits, of any other group of industrial microorganisms. The annual world production of S.cerevisiae is more than 3 million tons, a level that exceeds the combined production of other industrial microorganisms by about two orders of magnitude. The economic values of fermented beverages and foods concerning yeasts are enormous.
Due to weakening resources, environmental factors, and the need for sources of sustainable energy, yeasts have attracted renewed interest in recent years for the production of fuel alcohol. Yeasts are also an important source of enzymes for traditional markets including food, feed, and agriculture, as well as specific biocatalysts, which are increasingly used in pharmaceutical and fine chemical synthesis.