BTH3711 - Food and industrial microbiology - 2017

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

Malaysia School of Science


Professor Sunil K Lal

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (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;
  2. Describe micro-organisms characteristic to the food industry and their roles in food production, food spoilage and food-borne illnesses;
  3. Explain principles involved in microbiological spoilage of food, microbial control, and methods of preserving foods;
  4. Recognise the importance of microbiological food criteria and HACCP systems for maintaining food safety in industry;
  5. Discuss the use of microorganisms in industrial processes, and providing examples representing the breadth of these applications;
  6. Describe the principles and applications of batch and continuous fermentation processes;
  7. Describe the application of industrial control systems such as SCADA for microbial fermentations.


Examination (3 hours): 50%

One major and two minor laboratory reports: 30%

Mid-term test: 20%.

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