LYUBOV RIMARIOVA: «SCIENCE IS A PERFECT PLACE FOR WOMEN»
Lyubov Rimaryova is a Doctor of Engineering Science, professor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, academician of the RAS. Her scientific work is devoted to fundamental and applied research in nanobiotechnologic, biocatalytic, biosynthetic and fermentative processes in processing industries of the agroindustrial complex.
Lyubov Rimaryova’s life is dedicated to cooking only in a nanobiotechnologic way. The materials gathered from yeast proteins are able to affect medicine, sports, food industry and economy of Russia positively. What’s more, we can efficiently improve our ecology by using yeasts. They are one of the main components in creating a new fuel type, and they also minimize the waste.
- According to one of your scientific essays, the modern conception of healthy diet supposes including natural biocorrectors of food in it. Why and what for do we need them?
- Unfortunately, the food products we have on the market today are not always balanced in main nutritional chemicals. People often don’t get the required nutrient analysis with food. They miss the irreplaceable amino acids, vitamins and microelements. That is why we make the research about adjuncts which would include these materials, based on the alternative types of raw products. Our country isn’t the only one who has a lack of protein in a diet now. People don’t get animal protein which has irreplaceable amino acids, preferring bread, porridge and many other things with gluten to it.
- Do you mean that even vegetarians, having left out animal protein from their diet, will replace a lack of it by eating food with biologically active addivities?
- Yes, of course. But there is a flaw. Vegetarians still use legume materials. They have more irreplaceable amino acids than usual cereal materials have, but it is not enough too.
- Many high-productive commercial strains of microorganisms were developed under your command and with your involvement. How do these stains work? What do they promote?
- Stains are microorganisms of a certain type with equal qualities. We created them in our institute which has long traditions from the date of 1931. This is the place where the first research on ferments started. We have never worked with this subject in Russia before. The ferment industry was created on this research’s basis.
Stains of microorganisms synthesize ferments for food industry. There are two main fields of our work. The first one is balanced diet. There we create ingredients to use in food products. They are the sources for nutrient materials which are needed for human body. The second one is diet food. There we increase accessibility of products by using ferments.
- Proteins are allergens. Are protein products safe for people with allergies?
- If we add ferments which will split protein to peptides and amino acids, the product will not be allergenic for human body anymore. By using this method we can create full functional nutrition for people with allergies. We are also working on other products of fermentative hydrolysis which promote stimulation of insulin synthesis. Therefore, such nutrition will also be useful for those who suffer from diabetes.
By the way, we also hydrolyze microbial biomass. As a result we get valuable food fibre for body cleaning. They help remove toxic materials and adulterants.
- You place a high value to yeasts in your works. Why do you do that?
- Yeasts are a wonderful product. They have good protein with many irreplaceable amino acids. We make feeding yeasts on a distiller grain which is a spirit-based waste. Food yeasts are bred on ferment grain. By using amino acids spirit yeasts build their biomass, reproduce and breathe by using glucose. They have anaerobic breath; they don’t need oxygen for that. This is how yeasts make spirit. For spirit industry we made stains which allow fermenting strong wort at high speed with minimal waste.
- Yeasts are used not only in spirit industry but also in making bread. How did you use your method there?
- We also create stains of bakery yeast which have good fermentation capacity when dough-making. Yeasts have biologically full protein, polysaccharides and nucleic acids. However, human’s accessibility of intracellular yeast materials is low. We don’t eat enough yeast with bread to cover a daily need of our bodies, for example, in irreplaceable amino acids.
- If we eat yeasts as they are, will we recover needed capacity of amino acids?
- As I’ve already said before, native yeasts are badly-ingested, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I would advise yeast fermentolysis for that. The processing of yeast biomass by specially picked ferments allows destroying cellular coat, splitting protein to free amino acids and peptides which are well-ingested and affect human body in a positive way. Amino acids also absorb into the blood stream and promote activation of biochemical processes of organism.
- Where can we buy this magic bread? Do makers mention anything about stains on a pack?
- We’ve only just began our work in baking. There is no such kind of bread in industry. Our additives slightly affect the taste qualities, it brings a salty flavor with a bitter end. But it is only a question of time, we just need to choose a doze for the bread to have a traditional taste and be not only useful, but also tasty for a consumer.
The research has shown that species of yeast cell can be used in many ways. The cell itself is neutral but, if processed with ferments, it gets functional attributes (for example, antioxidant immunomodulating qualities increase, as well as the ability to suppress development of oncologic cells).
- Can we cure oncology by using hydrolyzed protein from yeasts?
- We had a grant and we used it for a research on myeloma. We injected our material in it. The experiment showed suppression of development of oncologic cells. It means that there was an increase in numbers of dead oncologic cells. The grant ended, so we couldn’t continue our research further.
- Are there any other connections between your research and medicine?
- We made experiments in tuberculosis dispensary. There was an increase in hemoglobin among those children who ate food with our amino acid yeast additive. The doctors were surprised with the analysis of our work. There was improvement of metabolism among the children, and ferrum which was coming with food was ingested better. We pointed out the decrease of antibiotic doses for the children because they had an increase in immune system and recovered quickly.
The research has also shown that the additive develops the hair growth and common skin condition. The patients start to recover faster after their operations. The sportsmen become stronger (we had a research in the Institute of Physical Education).
- Isn’t it some kind of doping?
- Not at all, yeast is a natural additive. Now we provide it in fry fishes’ food. As a result there is an increase in their survival. However, this additive is more or less popular, it is even produced at the factory.
- It sounds like some kind of unbelievable opportunities…
- They are truly unbelievable! Now we are working on creating biologically active additives. When microbial biomass has ferments, it becomes waste and pollutes the environment. We can create many wonderful additives if we use it in biotechnological processes.
- Do we start to achieve a natural cycle by making it? That of the ‘green’ chemistry?
- Certainly. However, some firms don’t like it when raw materials are made from waste. They have questions about keeping this waste, it’s understandable. Waste is hard to stabilize.
- Hasn’t it been popularized in medicine yet?
- In medicine we’ve got an approval for just one biologically active food additive. It’s necessary to pass hard and high-priced medical research. We don’t have enough budgets for it, so we advance it step by step by making agreements all over the place. Then we analyze the results and try to think of our next move and which structural cell fragments we need to hydrolyze.
- One of your works was related to integration of spirit field in world economics. How did you plan to do so?
- We need to lower the prime cost of products in the first place for integration of spirit industry in world economics. It means that it should be competitive. Nobody denies the competitiveness of our vodka, it is a world-known brand. However, we need to get qualified spirit to get qualified vodka.
The second way is to lower the amount of waste and create resource-saving technologies.
The first method to do so is to increase the concentration of fermentable wort. It means that if it was 16-17% before, now it is more than 20%. Today we got yeast stains which can ferment wort with the concentration of dry materials up to 35%. Our factories are not prepared well enough for such processing, though.
- Well, what should we do with waste? It is still present.
- Waste in spirit industry is distillery grains. Every year its amount reaches 8 million tons. We used to throw it before or flush meadows. It was a horrible thing to do. There were valuable amino acids, sugar residues, microelements… We have a department for distillery grains processing now. We already use some technologies in our works in the Republic of Belarus and in Kazakhstan. As a result, we get feed stuff from distillery grains, and it is demanded. However, our technologies are penetrated abroad quickly than in our countries.
- Isn’t lowering the price of alcohol harmful for our nation?
- Alcohol isn’t going to become cheap this way. The only thing that will lower is the prime cost. It won’t affect every bottle of alcohol, but it is very economical in an industrial meaning.
- Can we produce bio fuel like this?
- We are working on it too. Bioethanol is an alternative to oil. Our great materials turned to meeting their end. Though we are drilling a borehole, we need to remember that descendants will get more than we have, if they will get it at all. In America, bioethanol is made from corn. In Brazil, it is made from reed. However, bioethanol has many rivals. Many people prefer using fuel to agricultural raw materials because they need it more. Yes, it’s a pity, but raw materials are needed anyway: we have food and feed ones. We use the last ones to produce bioethanol. The emission level decreases when we add bioethanol in average fuel. It is more ecological. By practicing these technologies we can use stains of spirit yeasts made in our institute.
- Are there any projects on waste treatment?
Some of our specialists are working on this issue, but we didn’t get any brilliant technologies yet. They simply burn this waste.
However, we are working on such raw materials as paunch manure. It is an animal forestomach, waste from meat production which can aggregate in a great amount and become a source of pathogenic flora development. If we hydrolyze paunch manure with ferments and put some yeasts or lactic acid bacteria there, we can get a good food product which has many proteins. It will also have a protective feature: animals will not only be nicely fed, but their immune system will develop.
- In your opinion, how do modern women feel in science?
- I guess that science is a perfect place for women. The main question is not about women or men but about a person who loves science. I’m telling you about it now and I feel great pleasure. It feels like drinking great wine. If a person comes and he doesn’t have fire in his heart, he won’t stay here for long.
By working in an institute we simultaneously manage both doing science and spending time with our families. We brought up not only much yeast in our laboratories, but also raised many kids.
Agata Korovina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Irina Nikishina