Food Biotechnology (AGCH3026)


The use of biotechnology in food has its basis in the establishment of agriculture and food production. The growth and selection of superior crops and the production of fermented foods and beverages such as leavened bread, cheese and beer are all traditional examples of food biotechnology. More recently, food biotechnology has come to represent the use of molecular technology, including genetically modified organisms (GMO), in the production, processing and analysis of our food. At the completion of this unit students will be able to describe the role of both traditional and modern biotechnology in food science from examples presented in class and through their own research, as well as describing the science underpinning this aspect of food production. This unit is divided into four discrete modules that address specific examples of food biotechnology used today. These modules cover enzyme technology, postharvest technologies for fruits and vegetables, GM foods, and processing of cereal grains (milling, baking and malting). Each of these modules will be assessed individually using a range of tasks that may include an end-of-module exam (covering lectures and practicals), opinion writing, report writing and poster presentations. These tasks are designed to develop graduate attributes such as research and inquiry; information literacy; personal and intellectual autonomy; ethical, social and professional understanding and communication. Each module will consist of lectures and a laboratory class that will illustrate practical aspects of food biotechnology. This unit is particularly valuable when taken in combination with AGCH3025 Chemistry and Biochemistry of Foods. The structure and content of the modules is such that students will be at a considerable disadvantage if they do not attend the lectures, particularly the guest lectures. Students must complete all of the laboratory classes. Each module has an equal assessment weighting of 25% of the final mark. To complete the unit successfully, students must achieve at least a Pass grade in each module. At the completion of this unit students will be able to describe the key theories and techniques used in food biotechnology using the examples discussed in lectures and laboratory classes; demonstrate an ability to correctly use key information sources about food biotechnology; propose well-researched and creative solutions to food biotechnology problems; construct their own views and opinions on the science of food biotechnology and, communicate aspects of food biotechnology to both the scientific and broader community.

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Further unit of study information


3x1-hr lectures/week, 1x4-hr practical fortnightly


Each module has a range of tasks that may include report writing, opinion writing, quizzes or exams. All four modules are worth 25% of the final assessment mark. (4x25%)


Laboratory notes will be available for purchase from the Copy Centre in the first week of semester and lecture notes and readings will be made available through WebCT. There is no recommended textbook.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

AGCH2004 or BCHM2071 or BCHM2971 or BCHM2072 or BCHM2972 or PLNT2001 or PLNT2901 or 6 credit points of Intermediate units in Chemistry


AGCH3005, AGCH3003, AGCH4006, AFNR5103

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