Biotechnology and Food Technology

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What is Biotechnology?

  • Biotechnology offers a diversification of biological knowledge, predominantly of microorganisms, to equip you in the identification and characterisation of bacteria contaminating industrially significant products. Your local supermarket supplies beverages and food products that can be infected with fungi and bacteria. Your girlfriends’ make-up can also be contaminated with microbes. Knowledge of the potential contaminants and techniques to screen these products are essential to maintain product quality.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Biotechnology trains graduates with the necessary skills, knowledge, and subject excellence to meet and exceed the requirements of the Biotechnology Industry. The graduates must be able to apply Biotechnology and they must be able to convey their expertise to the Industry in order to develop applied research to the benefit of students, staff and industry.​

What is Food Technology?

  • Welcome to Food Technology. Do you know what food technology is though? Many people are under the misconception that in food technology we either teach our students how to cook, or how to plan diets. This is very far from the truth since food technology is about the science behind the manufacturing of food products on an industrial scale. It incorporates many disciplines such as food microbiology, food chemistry and food engineering. Food technologists fulfil important positions in food manufacturing companies such as quality control, production management and new product development. We pride ourselves on the fact that our students are competently prepared for this exciting career and that they are well sought after in the food industry.​​​​

Our Vision and Mission

To provide quality teaching with strong core science concepts and an application-oriented undergraduate and post-graduate education along with a solid foundation in the rapidly expanding fields of biotechnology and food technology that will enable the Department to produce high-quality professionals. Our goal is to provide students with sound knowledge and understanding of current theories, concepts and laboratory practices in Biotechnology and Food Technology. In so doing, we strive to:

  • Generate high-quality Biotechnology and Food technology professionals by offering Under Graduate (Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Honours) and Post Graduate (MSc and Ph.D.) programmes in the Biotechnology and Food Technology disciplines. We would also endeavour to develop a premier Biotechnology and Food Technology teaching and research Department to cater for the needs and challenges of the country and the world at large.
  • Initiate a level of attitude in research scholars that will provide solutions to environmental, industrial, agricultural, food and health-based problems.
  • Equip and subsequently graduate students who can compete, with advantage, within the relevant academic and commercial markets in the world.

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Our Undergraduate Food Technology Program is approved by the prestigious IFT: After a rigorous assessment by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Department of Biotechnology and ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Food Technology’s undergraduate food technology program received the IFT’s badge of approval from 2020 – 2025. The approval confirms that our program complies with the high IFT Undergraduate Education Standards for Degrees in Food Science, alongside universities such as Cornell University and McGill University. We will be working with the IFT to ensure continuous improvement for the preparation of food science professionals.

Phase-Out of BTech, MTech and DTech Programmes: The final intake for all BTech, MTech and DTech programmes was in the January 2019 registration period, as legislated nationally. The Minister of Higher Education and Training announced the 31 December 2019 as the last enrolment date for first-time entering students into nonHEQSF aligned programmes (refer to Government Gazette No: 40123). This Government notice affects all our Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Master of Technology (MTech) and Doctor of Technology (DTech) Programmes.

Admission procedures for Postgraduate (PG) Studies: Please note that applications for PG studies in the Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology will only be considered if the applicant has identified a supervisor and this supervisor has agreed to supervise the applicant. Applicants are thus advised to contact Academic Staff Members in the Department for supervision before applying for Admission.