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HSC Biotechnology option

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9.6 Option Biotechnology: 3. Cell biochemistry and industrial fermentation procedures

Extract from Biology Stage 6 Syllabus (Amended October 2002, © Board of Studies, NSW).

Prior learning: Science Stages 4 and 5, 4.8.1 and 5.8.1 cell theory, 4.8.3 unicellular organisms, 5.8.4 humans.
Preliminary module 8.3 Patterns in Nature, HSC module 9.3 Blueprint of life.

Background information: Fermentation is the breakdown of glucose and other simple sugar molecules into carbon dioxide and alcohol. In cheese and yoghurt making milk, sugar is changed into lactic acid. For a cell, such as yeast, fermentation is a way of getting energy without using oxygen, Energy is obtained through glycolysis. This produces waste products such as ethyl alcohol, lactic acid or acetone. These are the important chemicals of fermentation.

gather and process information from secondary sources to:

  • identify and describe a named industrial fermentation process
  • use available evidence to assess the impact of the use of the fermentation product on society at the time of its introduction
  • Gather information from a range of resources including the Internet, scientific journals and text books. As you gather general information on fermentation you will need to choose a particular industrial fermentation process to investigate. Make sure the information you have gathered includes the micro-organism used and the products of the fermentation. You may need a separate web site to find the impact of the use of the fermentation product on society at the time of its introduction.
  • Process the information you have gathered by assessing the reliability of the information from various sources. This is best done by comparing similar information from different sources. If you are uncertain about the reliability of one source, check it against a third source.
  • Use the available evidence you have gathered to assess the impact of the use of the fermentation product on society at the time of its introduction.
  • Some web links to start your investigation are:

    Microbial fermentations: Changed the course of human history Access Excellence @ the national health museum.

    A site on fermentation to produce cheese is Cheese University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

describe the expansion of fermentation since the early 18th century to include the production of several organic compounds, including glycerol, lactic acid, citric acid and yeast biomass for baker’s yeast

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