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Industrial Fermentation Processes

Ionian University, Department of Food Science and Technology
Syllabus, Lecture, Practicum
Thematic Area
Technology, Natural Sciences
Factual description
The course entitled “Industrial Fermentation Processes” has been selected to be examined since it is relevant to COSY.
The module of Industrial Fermentations constitutes an interdisciplinary approach, employing microbiology, biotechnology, chemistry, bioprocess design and product development basic principles (among others). More specifically, the course implements process development to generate fermentation products through the utilisation of microbial entities, focusing on food industry.During each lecture specific educational points are targeted but also the dynamic interactions within specific sections and the subsequent adaptation, aiming to achieve a contextual education. An indicative approach during the theoretical part of the module relies on the presentation of specific case studies and their interaction with other disciplines. Equally, via laboratory exercises, students have the possibility to acquire hands-on experience on several experimental methods and subsequently obtain and evaluate their results.
Sustainable development involves environmental, social and economic aspects. These are incorporated during the lectures of the course, within the concept of demonstrating a holistic approach and the multiple interactions occurring during the development of food bioprocessing schemes. Moreover, in the context of circular bioeconomy and resource valorisation, policies and regulations along with societal impact are also mentioned.
Systems thinking is introduced during the lectures and laboratory practicals by raising specific problems and exercises targeting to engage the students to test hypotheses and propose solutions. Moreover, they are encouraged to consider the economic and societal impact, aiming to enhance their understanding on the underlying structure of the specific complex system.
According to the interviewee, systems thinking is essential, considering that industrial fermentations may be affected by several disciplines but also have an impact on other fields that correlate to sustainable development.
Relevance in complex systems
Complex systems emerge via the presentation of specific examples and case studies, as developed during lectures. For instance, during the specific course of wine production as an industrial fermentation example, the parameters related to regulations and stakeholders are mentioned, but also the concept of by-products valorization relating to resources recycling and circular economy.
Strong points
The strong point of this course is the presentation of ethical issues and their relation to sustainability via discussion and demonstration of the correlations raised between consumers, research, stakeholders but also policies, regulations and the environment.
Transferability potential
The context of circular bioeconomy and resource valorisation, policies and regulations along with societal impact could be introduced in other courses as well.