Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Science, Malaysia


Dr Andrew Greenhill (Gippsland); Prof. Sunil K Lal (Malaysia)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)
  • First semester 2016 (Off-campus)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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:

  1. Discuss food as a habitat for micro-organisms;

  1. Describe micro-organisms characteristic to the food industry and their roles in food production, food spoilage and food-borne illnesses;

  1. Explain principles involved in microbiological spoilage of food, microbial control, and methods of preserving foods;

  1. Recognise the importance of microbiological food criteria and HACCP systems for maintaining food safety in industry;

  1. Discuss the use of microorganisms in industrial processes, and providing examples representing the breadth of these applications;

  1. Describe the principles and applications of batch and continuous fermentation processes;

  1. Describe the application of industrial control systems such as SCADA for microbial fermentations.


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

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures and a 5-day block lab

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study