Food Biotechnology Research Unit

The Food Biotechnology Research Unit focuses on research and development of food, with a special emphasis on using biotechnology to improve food quality to increase the value of commercial products as well as to make process improvements. The Unit aims to be a solution provider to the food industry.

Research Scope

  • Starter Culture Technology. As a strategy to develop starter culture, the Unit has developed expertise in several core areas, i.e. screening for bacterial strains used as starter cultures based on fermentation characteristics, good acid production as well as flavour and aroma; cell production technology; cell drying technology to extend starter shelf-life and facilitate transportation; monitoring technology such as the use of transgenic green fluorescent protein starter culture; and mathematical modeling to design fermentation process control.  By focusing on lactic acid bacteria, a major type of starter culture, the Unit also aims to characterize and identify potential probiotic lactic acid bacteria obtained from traditional fermented food based on culture and non-culture molecular biology-based techniques, as well as to assess the probiotic capability of those selected strains based on animal testing.
  • Food Safety. This research gives emphasison performing quantitative microbial risk assessment focusing on important food-borne pathogens in traditional food, as well as high value commodities and developing criteria for production processes complying with food safety requirements.
  • Food Chemistry. Expertise on food chemistry and functional properties of food proteins allows the Unit to collaborate with industry to make improvement on food quality (color, texture, flavor, etc.), as well as to maximize the utilization of protein by-products.

Highlights

  • Starter culture technology for fermented pork sausage. The technology has been licensed to a food ingredient company that manufactures and supplies starter culture to several fermented pork sausage factories.
  • Mathematical model of pork sausage fermentation.
  • Rapid technique for novel bacteriocin detection by whole cell MALDI-TOF MS.
  • Preliminary probiotic screening system based on key probiotic gene regions, biochemical and phenotypical characteristics.
  • Risk assessment of nitrosamine and S. aureus in fermented pork sausage.
  • Exposure assessment of Salmonella in broiler chicken, slaughter house model.
  • Risk assessment of histamine in fish sauce.
  • Biological method for histamine reduction through halophilic archeae producing histamine dehydrogenase (at laboratory-scale).
  • Technology to produce Bacillus-fermented soybean meal as feed additive. The technology includes a Bacillus strain screened from BIOTEC Culture Collection, cell production for Bacillus and solid state fermentation of soybean meal. The technology has been licensed to a local animal feed company.
  • Acceleration of fish sauce fermentation with enzymes. The technology has been transferred to a Thai fish sauce company.

Major Equipment and Facilities

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Fermentors (2.5 and 10L)
  • Spray dryer
  • Texture analyzer
  • Anaerobic chamber
  • Ultrafiltration

Director

Dr. Wonnop Visessanguan

Contact Address

Food Biotechnology Research Unit
National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC)
113 Thailand Science Park
Phahonyothin Road, Khlong Nueng, Khlong Luang
Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2564 6700
Fax: +66 (0) 2564 6707
Website: http://www.biotec.or.th/fbu