Main function of the Department
The Food Microbiology and Biotechnology Department conducts research and analysis in the field of food microbiology and biotechnology. The Department is involved with the use of biological systems in the development of food-related products and processes. The Department’s Microbiology section promotes the use of classical microbiological, biochemical and immunological techniques in the evaluation of food quality and assessment of the microbiological safety of food products, including shelf-life studies.
The Biotechnological section promotes use of enzymes and fermentation technology in product development. The section also enhances NFTRC’s capacity for rapid detection and identification of food-borne pathogens, meat species, toxins, allergens, and genetically modified (GM) sequences using molecular biology techniques.
Services and Products
Microbial contaminants- foodborne pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms.
Charges for Services/Products:
A. Screening, isolation and identification of food borne pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms for quality assessment using
- Conventional microbiological methods
- DNA (PCR)-based detection methods
- Immunological methods
B. Molecular (DNA) based methods for detection and identification of
- Genetically Modified (GM) sequences
- Meat Species identification
C. Shelf-life estimation using
- Direct shelf life method
- Accelerated shelf life method
A. Method development and optimisation for microbiology and biotechnology analytical services
B. Mycotoxin- evaluation of the extent of contamination in field crops with fungi and assessment of mycotoxin production phase 2
C. Fish and fish products safety
D. Poultry safety and hygiene
E. Biosafety and Biotechnology: Public perceptions of biotechnology in Botswana
F. Meat food products authenticity assessment
Past or Completed Projects:
A. Mycotoxin Project Phase 1 - evaluation of the extent of contamination in field crops with fungi and assessment of mycotoxin production in the Southern part of Botswana
B. Biosafety and Biotechnology: Public perceptions of biotechnology in Botswana
C. Strengthening of national food safety control systems in Botswana
A. Ralefala MP., Leareng S., Dehlane, T., Mokhawa, G., Phokoje, O., Mpotokwane, S. Bulawayo, B. Ezeogu L. (2009) Characterization of Lactobacilli in Fermented Sorghum Flour (Ting) using PCR-DGGE
Presented at Food and Function 9th -11th June 2009, Zilina, Slovakia
B. Mpotokwane S., Ralefala M., Mokotedi, M., Mosetlha, K., Nkwe-Mosele, A., Kamakama, M., Bogopa, J. (2009) Functional Components in Traditionally Consumed Foods in Botswana.
Presented at CIGR, Potsdam, Germany, 2009
C. Gaone Mokhawa, Malebogo Ralefala, Bernard Bulawayo, Lewis Ezeogu (2009) Qualitative Zymographic Studies of Major Proteinases from Malted Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour L) and Effects of Cultivar. Cereal Chemistry, 86 (5), pp575-581
D. Mpotokwane S, Tlhong T, Mthombeni F, Gaditlhatlhelwe E, Phokoje O and Jackson JC. Effect of Pre-Processing On The Physico-Chemical Properties Of Morama Bean (Tylosema Esculentum). 2013. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, volume 13, no 1.