Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

Bio tech header

The Foods for Health Institute’s Biotechnology and Bioprocessing programs are using principles of lactation to develop innovative ‘bio-inspired processes’ to enhance the biological structures and functions of foods rather than to degrade them. Today, agricultural commodities are exposed to engineering unit operations of separation, mixing and heating to produce uniform foods with predictable stability and composition. However, while they ensure stability and safety, such unit operations are destructive to the biological properties of the organisms from which foods are produced. There is a better way.

The mammalian mammary gland converts simple substrates into highly complex molecules and assembles them into multi-molecular structures. Milk’s structures and functions provide unexpected value to infants way beyond the simple provision of fuel, essential nutrients and amino acids.

Milk is conspicuously personal, dynamic, alive and structured at the nanometer, micrometer and colloidal length scales. These structures disassemble and reassemble like a choreographed ballet through the infant. Milk inspires innovative bio-processing technologies to guide foods for all ages with similar molecules, structures and benefits.

Biotechnology and Bioprocessing Projects

  • Microorganisms as bio-production systems for high value ingredients
  • Microbial modification of food streams – milk
  • Enzymatic sculpting of food biopolymers - Protein digestibility
  • Glycobiology Production – milk oligosaccharides


Learn more about our Advanced Milk Processing Lab, where we are researching our understanding of the chemical and biological properties of milk components; specifically, processes of separation, characterization and then incorporation of bioactive milk components into foods.