Thursday, October 7, 2010

Control Quality as a Biotechnology Technician in Industrial Microbiology

The scientific area of industrial microbiology encompasses the use of microorgasms in the manufacturing of food or industrial products. The microorganisms used in industrial processes may be natural isolates, laboratory selected mutants or genetically engineered organisms. The people who ensure quality control/quality assurance in this area within food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries are bench technicians who have studied Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology.

Centennial College’s nationally-accredited program in this field provides thorough practical training in industrial microbiology as well as chemistry – analytical, organic and biochemistry. To apply for the two-year program, which results in an Ontario College Diploma, you must first meet some prerequisites. Centennial College expects students applying for the Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology undertaking to present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required is completion of the following: Compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent. Please note that students will be placed in the appropriate English level based on skills assessment results. Lastly,
students who test at an advanced level may be accelerated directly into MATH-176 in semester 1 and MATH-186 in semester 2. Those taking MATH-140 will have the opportunity to complete MATH-186 between semesters 2 and 3.

Once you are in the program, you will cover a wide range of topics that include: chemistry and organic chemistry, occupational health and safety, microcomputer applications for technology, microbiology and its techniques, food microbiology, mathematics and statistics and many more. Many of these courses include hands-on learning in a laboratory setting. During these lab sessions, laboratory techniques that include appropriate safety procedures are extensively highlighted. Eight up-to-date laboratories and modern wireless lecture rooms are used for facilitating the program. A special feature of Centennial College’s Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology is a project approach, with independently designed microbiology projects that enhance your problem-solving and research skills. As an added feature, training is provided in Occupational Health and Safety, WHMIS, GMP and HACCP.

By the time you graduate from Centennial College, you will have picked up many employable skills. The first major skill set is being able to isolate, enumerate and identify microorganisms from many types of samples (water, soil, air, your body, and food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products). This is a huge part of the job, as is preparing specimens for staining and becoming an expert light-microscopist, which you will also learn. These tasks goes hand-in-hands with proficiently handling materials and instruments such as pH and BOD meters, Gas Chromatographs, spectrophotometers (regular/IR/UV), HPLC’s etc. Lastly, you’ll have the knowledge to prepare microbiological media and reagents; culture pathogenic microbes; and design and perform your own microbiology experiments.

This Biotechnology Technician – Industrial Microbiology program is also a nationally accredited program by the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists, which has deemed it as having met the national technology accreditation requirements. Lastly,
the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT ) recognizes the Biotechnology Technician - Industrial Microbiology program as meeting all the academic requirements for certification in the Technician category.

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