What is Biotechnology? Definition and its application

Nowadays, biotechnology concept is an increasingly popular term due to it is a scientific field with multiple applications in different sectors.

Benefits and uses resulting from the research are found daily in the markets in the form of improved harvests, in pharmaceutical industry and in the fight against climate change among other varied utilities.


If we stick to the internationally accepted definition:

Biotechnology refers to any technological application that uses biological systems and living organisms or their derivatives for the creation or modification of products or processes for specific uses (Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 2. Use of Terms, United Nations, 1992).

Biotechnology is understood as a multidisciplinary area by employing both biology, chemistry together with various processes to provide different uses in areas such as agriculture, pharmacy, food science and health.

Thanks to this and the result of research we get healthier foods, improved medicines, more resistant or less polluting materials, more productive crops, renewable energy sources and even systems to eliminate pollution are obtained.


In other words, biotechnology consists precisely in the use of the biological machinery for the benefit of the human being. Possibly, the first person who has evidence in using this term was the agricultural engineer Karl Ereky of Hungarian nationality, in 1917.


There are multiple applications for this area of science but the main ones are:

  • Agricultural: for the development of crops and improvement of crops and food, resistance to pests and diseases.
  • Environmental: with applications for biofeedback, resistance to contamination, conservation of species.
  • Biosanitary: for the obtaining of drugs, genetic therapies, obtaining vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and cellular therapies are some examples.
  • Industrial processes: for cosmetics, food, chemical substances, fuels.



Biotechnology can be classified into different types according to its applications:

  • Red biotechnology: that refers to the use of bio-organisms in medicine, such as the creation of antibiotics, the cultivation of bacteria ..
  • White biotechnology: also known as industrial biotechnology, since it is applied to industrial processes.
  • Green biotechnology: that applied to agricultural processes, for example, obtaining solutions to control diseases and improve crops.
  • Blue biotechnology: in charge of biotechnological processes related to the sea.
  • Gray biotechnology: focused exclusively on finding solutions to environmental problems such as climate change.


The research that is carried out in the biotechnological area of crops, focuses on the study of nature and the perfect balance that each plant, microorganism or insects.

Biotechnology applied to agriculture is a tool that uses living organisms or substances obtained from these organisms to create or modify a product for practical purposes.

Through biotechnology applied to agriculture, biopesticides are obtained based on biological origin, where organisms or substances are synthesized. With a high degree of effectiveness, they only attack pests and do not affect other organisms that are beneficial or the fruits of crops.

In the case of biofertilizers, are products made from a biological process with the aim of providing nutrients to crops without altering natural conditions and maintaining a natural microbiological environment.

This is the premise of the whole catalog of MAFA Vegetal Ecobiology. We work with the objective of helping farmers, take care of the health of the field and make crops more profitable and healthy.

Ask us for more information on any of our references.

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