The course aims at providing basic understanding about the role of microorganism in determining human health and well being; recent advances in our understanding of gut microbiome, and technological aspects for the selection, manipulation, and processing in food of beneficial microorganisms shall be discussed. The course will have three major parts. Under part one, the abundance, taxonomic diversity, functional variability of the human gut microbiome and recent advances in the human microbiome sequencing shall be discussed. The role of the gut microbiome in obesity, immunological function, diabetics, gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, antibiotic induced diarrhea, and other disorders shall be discussed. Emphasis shall be given about the crucial role of maintaining the right balance of microbes in the human gut in maintaining a healthy condition in the human host.

Under part two, mechanisms for the manipulation of the human gut microbiome will be discussed. One aspect of the manipulation involves encouraging growth of beneficial microorganisms through the use of special foods known as prebiotics. The second method to manipulate gut microbes is through the introduction of live beneficial microbes, which are known as, probiotics using different foods as vehicles, in what is known as functional foods.

Under part three technological challenges faced in food biotechnology shall be discussed. Major topics include isolation and selection of probiotics, genetic manipulation of probiotic microorganisms; culture maintenance; mass production and prevention of cell death during food processing through heat, sheer force, and chemical exposure; ensuring cell viability during the shelf life of the food; etc shall be discussed.