Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology


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Department of Biotechnology and ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Food Technology

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 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 a strong core science concepts and an application-oriented undergraduate and post-graduate education along with 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 a 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 endeavor 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.


 Noticeboard

  • ​​UJ team wins at the 2019 Intervarsity Brewing Competition: The Intervarsity Brewing Competition is an annual event that seeks to promote responsible beer consumption amongst students that drink beer. Importantly, it allows students to acquire brewing skills to work within the brewing industry or develop their own craft breweries. This year, it was attended by 13 tertiary Institutions, including the University of Johannesburg's Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, from the 23 to 25 August. The UJ team entered four beer styles (African Premium Lager, Indian Pale Ale, Winter Warmer and Munich Helles) and won the 2019 Best Indian Pale Ale category, including a cash prize of R10 000. This is the second award for the UJ team following the Best Winter Warmer Ale Award in 2017. 
  • 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 Post Graduate (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. 

  • No Applications for Doctoral Studies in 2020: Please note that we will not be having DTech (Biotechnology and Food Technology) admissions in 2020. This is due to the change in our DTech degree to PhD, as the DTech is being phased out. All the continuing students will still be admitted for completion of their degrees.