Vitamins are essential compounds in human and animal diets. Their demand is increasing globally in food, feed, cosmetics, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Most current production methods are unsustainable because they use non-renewable sources and often generate hazardous waste. Many microorganisms produce vitamins naturally, but their corresponding metabolic pathways are tightly regulated since vitamins are needed only in catalytic amounts. Metabolic engineering is accelerating the development of microbial cell factories for vitamins that could compete with chemical methods that have been optimized over decades, but scientific hurdles remain. Additional technological and regulatory issues need to be overcome for innovative bioprocesses to reach the market. Here, we review the current state of development and challenges for fermentative processes for the B vitamin group.
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