Skip to content | Change text size

BTH3711 - Food and industrial microbiology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Kirsten Schliephake


Gippsland First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit begins with aspects of food microbiology. It discusses food as a habitat, the microorganisms important in food (including food pathogens), the principles involved in microbiological spoilage of foods, food safety and aspects of food preservation. Microbiological testing of foods is then considered. The industrial microbiology section examines how microorganisms are obtained, handled and maintained in industry and discusses the role of genetically modified microorganisms. Batch and continuous fermenters are considered and finally the role of microorganisms in modifying chemicals and as biological control agents is discussed.


On completion of this unit students will be able to: discuss food as a habitat for microorganisms; describe the various microorganisms that are important in the food industry and relate their characteristics to their roles in food; describe the roles of the most important organisms of public health significance in food, appreciating the conditions in food which allow them to cause problems and to understand how they may be controlled; discuss principles involved in microbiological spoilage of food and methods of preserving foods; and discuss the importance of microbiological food criteria and HACCP systems for maintaining food safety in industry. Students also will appreciate the breadth of industrial microbiology; discuss the differences between chemical and microbiological industrial processes; discuss how different industries may obtain, handle, and maintain microorganisms; utilise the basic principles behind the operation of batch and continuous fermenters, and discuss the different uses of batch and continuous fermentation; discuss the use of different methods of genetic improvement used to modify microorganisms for industry; describe examples of the modification of chemical compounds in microbial processes; and discuss the use of microorganisms in biological control with particular reference to their industrial production.


Final written examination (3 hours): 60%
One major and two minor laboratory reports: 30%
one assignment (2000 words): 10%.

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures and three hours of laboratory per week

Off Campus Attendance Requirements

OCL students will undertake a 5-day residential school (offered in even numbered years)