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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland First semester 2011 (Day)
Sunway First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Kirsten Schliephake (Gippsland); Professor Gary Dykes (Sunway)


This unit discusses food as a habitat, the principles involved in microbiological spoilage of foods, micro-organisms of public health significance that cause food-borne illness, food safety and aspects of food preservation. Microbiological testing of foods is considered using current standard methods. The industrial microbiology section examines how micro-organisms are obtained, handled and maintained in industry and discusses the application of genetically modified micro-organisms. Fermentation modes and kinetic models are discussed using batch and continuous growth. Scale up and downstream processes of industrial fermentations and the role of micro-organisms in producing substances of industrial importance is discussed using antibiotics, hormones, membrane proteins and bioethanol as examples.


On completion of this unit students will be able to: discuss food as a habitat for micro-organisms; describe micro-organisms characteristic to the food industry and their roles in food production, food spoilage and food-borne illnesses; discuss principles involved in microbiological spoilage of food, microbial control, 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 micro-organisms; 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 micro-organisms for industry; model growth kinetics and kinetics of biological activity in batch and continuous culture systems; consider variables when changing scale of fermentation systems; describe the application of industrial control systems such as SCADA for microbial fermentations, describe examples of the modification of chemical compounds in microbial processes; and discuss the use of micro-organisms with particular reference to their industrial product.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Jenny Mosse

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures and a 5-day block lab

Off-campus attendance requirements

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


BTH2722 or MIC2011