SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code MMC525872
Module Leader Janice Taylor
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Introduction to Microbiology or a good honours degree in a relevant subject.

Summary of Content

The module covers the roles of microorganisms in the production of foods and beverages, and industrial fermentation technology. Production of recombinant proteins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Technologies for the generation of transgenic plants and the ethical issues raised by this technology


Introduction: The exploitation of microorganisms by mankind; historical perspective and contrasts between traditional and modern technologies. Microorganisms in Fermentation Technology : Fermenter design; the fermenter as an environment; factors affecting growth. Fermentation technology as illustrated by the production of organic acids. Microorganisms in Food and Beverage Production: Diversity of microbial metabolism: fermentation pathways and products. Dairy products: manufacture of cheese and yoghurt. Alcoholic beverages: wine, beer and distilled drinks. Production of vinegar. Preservation of meat and vegetable foods by microbial activity Roles for microorganisms Bioremediation, Biofuels and as cell factories for the therapeutics using the Phenylketonuria as a model Recombinant technology, plant transgenics and bioethics Vector and host systems for the production of recombinant proteins: advantages and disadvantages, scale up Principles of plant genetic modification, regulation of gene expression in plants, environmental biotechnology. Bioethics of GM crops. Laboratories The laboratory work in this module will cover a selection of methods relevant to the subjects covered in the lecture programme including modern methods of rapid molecular, immunological and phenotypic diagnostic methods. Tutorials Tutorials will be used to underpin the lecture and laboratory programme and for processing, critical evaluation and interpretation of experimental data

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to: 1. Appreciate the potential roles of microorganisms in the production of foods and beverages.2. Understand the uses of microorganisms in industrial processing of a wide range of product from organic acids to biofuels and as cell factories.3. Understand the importance and be able to critically analyse the ethical issues emerging from advances in recombinant technology.4. Be able to perform laboratory techniques, analyse and evaluate experimental results pertaining to the above.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The major strategy for module delivery will utilise lectures which be supported by a robust laboratory programme. The teaching strategy will progressively develop the use of textbooks, journals and internet for sources of information. Students will be given directed reading in appropriate research areas. Tutorials will be used to underpin the lecture and laboratory programme and give students the opportunity to critically examine aspects of the syllabus. Students will be encouraged to contribute to the Biotechnology blog, which will include discussions on bioethics and be updated with the latest developments in food technology including discussions on bioethics and be updated with the latest developments.

Indicative Reading

Food Microbiology (2015). 4 th Edition Adams, Moss & McClure. Royal Society of Chemistry, London The Prokaryotes . Microbial Biotechnology (2017) online journal resource; Reading lists will be provided for each topic area based on scientific papers and peer reviews The Plant Cell, Plant Science, Plant Cell Reports, Nature Biotechnology all online journal resources available from GCU library

Transferrable Skills

The major strategy for module delivery will utilise lectures and seminars. The teaching strategy will progressively develop from the use of textbooks, to journals and internet sources for information. The students will develop data analysis and will their research skills during the laboratory The students will be encouraged to participate in the Food Biotechnology discussion board, developed as a blog to include current up to date information on aspects of Biotechnology.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 15.00
Tutorials (FT) 9.00
Independent Learning (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Assessment (FT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 45% Lab Portfolio.
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 70.00 45% Unseen written exaam.