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NTNU: Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Researchers at NTNU’s Department of Biotechnology and Food Science study fundamental questions, as well as issues with practical applications

Biotechnology relies on the use of cells or part of cells in the production of knowledge, products and services.

Food Science combines biology, chemistry, physics and engineering to study the nature of foods, the principles of processing and the utilization of food resources.

About the department

Master student and PhD candidate cooperating on Biotechnology and Food ScienceBiotechnology relies on the use of cells or part of cells in the production of knowledge, products and services, and includes the use of gene technology and other methods in molecular biology to produce useful products for use in research, medicine, agriculture and industry.

Researchers at NTNU’s Department of Biotechnology and Food Science study both basic questions as well as problems with practical applications. We are particularly interested in finding new applications for our national marine resources, as exemplified by advanced biotechnological applications of alginate from seaweeds/bacteria, chitin/chitosan from crustaceans and fish gelatine. We are also working on isolating new marine microorganisms that can produce medicines and other valuable substances, and we employ gene technology and modern analytical methods to understand and optimize processes in bacteria.

Biotechnology and Food Science Research

Research at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is structured into four scientific divisions. For further details please see below.

Analysis and Control of Microbial Systems

Contact Person: Olav Vadstein

  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Microbial Ecology

Principal Investigators: Ingrid BakkeOlav Vadstein


Biopolymers and Biomaterials

Contact Person: Berit Løkensgard Strand

  • Applications of Biopolymers and Biomaterials
  • Carbohydrate Based Biomaterials
  • Carbohydrate Structure–Function Relationships
  • Enzymatic and Chemical Tailoring of Biopolymers

Principal Investigators: Berit Løkensgard StrandBjørn E. ChristensenCatherine Taylor NordgårdFinn L. AachmanGudmund Skjåk-BrækKurt DragetMarit Sletmoen


Food Science

Division Leader: Jørgen Lerfall

  • Quality of raw materials and products, including quality changes through processing
  • Marine lipids, proteins and peptides, biopolymers, metabolites and pigments
  • Shelf life and food chain knowledge
  • Stability of marine lipids
  • Food safety, food microbiology, biofilms, hygienic design and development of hygienic processing equipment
  • Rest raw materials, new raw materials (seaweed) and sustainable production

Principal Investigators:  Turid RustadAnita Nordeng JakobsenAlexander DikiyJørgen LerfallEva FalchLisbeth MehliEirin Marie Skjøndal Bar


Microbial Biotechnology

Division Leader: Trygve Brautaset

  • Alginate Biosynthesis
  • Bioenergy
  • Controlled Expression of Genes and Pathways
  • Metabolomics, Fluxomics
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Systems – Network Biology

Principal Investigators: Eivind AlmaasMartin F. Hohhmann-MarriottHelga ErtesvågPer BruheimRahmi Lale, Trygve Brautaset

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