Specialisation Food Biotechnology and Biorefining

How can we produce food by using microorganisms or enzymes? This is the central question of the Food Biotechnology and Biorefining specialization. Students learn to integrate microbial and biochemical aspects with process engineering and chemistry. Fermentation and enzymology are the main fields of interest. Besides food production, the specialization focuses on processes that can be used for biorefinery of agricultural raw materials.

Academic Calender

The Academic Calender of Wageningen University consists of 6 periods. In period 1,2 and 5 two subjects are taught, generally one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These periods consist of 6 weeks of teaching, followed by one week of self study and one week of exams.  The third and fourth period are shorter, 3 weeks, and in these weeks one course is taught blockwise and fulltime. After each period you will have the exam of that course. The sixth period consists of 9 weeks, due to many national holidays in the spring.

The tables below show the study programme and courses. The course content can be found in the online Study Handbook.

The courses are coded as follows : AAA-xyyzz, with AAA the teaching group ('department') responsible for the course (for example FCH=Food Chemistry, FHM=Food Microbiology), x indicates the level of the course (1=basic, 2=intermediate, 3=advanced), yy is an arbitrary number, zz indicates the number of credits in ECTS. One academic year has 60 ECTS (ECTS=European Credits).

First year

  • Compulsory courses (CS) : compulsory for all students in this specialisation
  • Restricted Optionals (RO1) : students have to choose at least two of the courses from the RO1 cluster
  • Restricted Optionals (RO2) : students have to choose at least one course from the RO2 cluster
Course Type Period, time
FHM-21806 Food Fermentation CS 1 MO
FCH-31306 Enzymology for Food and Biorefinery CS 5 MO
FQD-60312 Product and Process Design CS 6 Block
ORC-30306 Applied Biocatalysis RO1 1 AF
FPE-30806 Sustainable Food and Bioprocessing RO1 4 Block
BPE-21306 Bioreactor Design RO1 5 AF
FHM-30806 Advanced Fermentation Science RO1 5 AF
FHM-22306 Advanced Food Microbiology RO2 3 Block
FCH-30806 Advanced Food Chemistry RO2 4 Block

Second year

The second year consists of an individual thesis project (minimum 36 ECTS) and an intership/traineeship (minimum 24 ECTS). The topics of the thesis and internship whould be within the scope of the specialisation. A thesis is normally carried out at Wageningen University. Thesis topics in this specialisation are offered by the following groups:

For thesis topics, see the websites of the relevant groups (click on the links above).

The internship is always outside Wageningen University and can be in any country, at a university, an industry or an institute. The internship is not related to the thesis, but is under supervision of one of the same groups as mentioned above.