Topics in Biochemistry: Fermentation

Belgium & Netherlands

On Campus: CD Mod; March 2-May 5, 2022, Day & Time TBD
Off Campus: May 10-22, 2022

Program Highlights:

  • Chem In-depth electives (for Chemistry Major; Int Science Major, or NUTR;Food Science advising track)   
  • Fulfills Experiential (EL) Designation in the Common & Global (GL) & Experiential Engagements (EX) in Integrations
  • Learn about Biochemistry of Fermentation in Food and Beverages
  • Tour local businesses (breweries, bread and cheese factories) that use fermentation
  • Taste-testing comparisons of foods prepared with different processes
  • Compare Fermentation processes in the US, Netherlands, and Belgium

 While abroad, you will….

  • Tour breweries and cheese farms that use fermentation (including Trappist Monastery)
  • Taste-testing of fermented food and beverages!
  • Participate in a cooking class
  • Become an apprentice chocolatier in a Belgian Chocolate Factory (Yes! Chocolate is also fermented)
  • Tour cultural sites in Amsterdam and Belgium including churches, WWI sites, and the Anne Frank House

Explore more Belgium & Netherlands - Embedded Program details on CSB/SJU Global Portal.

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Topics in Biochemistry: Fermentation

Course Number: CHEM 323B

Credit Number: 4 credits

Common Curriculum: Experiential (EL) 

Integrations Curriculum: Experiential (EX) & Global Engagement (GL)

Pre-requisite: CHEM 125 & CHEM 250

Major: Meets an in-depth elective for CHEM Majors

Course Description:

This course combines classroom learning at CSB/SJU and ends with an experiential component abroad. This course will cover the use of microorganisms in the production of foods, beverages, and chemical products. We will build on topics involving structure and reactivity of important biomolecules. The course will then cover a variety of biochemical pathways and investigate the types of organisms typically used in fermentation. This material will then be applied to the processes involved in making fermented foods (such as cheese, yogurt, bread, and pickles) and beverages (beer, wine, spirits, and kombucha). Topics may also include the use of fermentation in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries including tours of MN companies.  A study abroad component after the semester will include tours of several industries, reflections on the different cultural contexts for brewing and industry.   

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

Students on an embedded program will pay an education program fee in addition to the cost of attendance for the semester. Program Fee information will be available in September 2021, but you can find more information about costs on theCSB/SJU Global Portal.  

Students should plan early for a successful study abroad experience. Financial aid and scholarships may be available to help with program costs, but must be searched out well in advance.   


Students will stay in double-occupancy hotel accommodations while in Belgium & Netherlands. Wifi is available at all hotel locations.

Program Director Information

Kate Graham

Dr. Kate Graham is an associate Professor of Chemistry at CSB/SJU for 25 years and will be lead professor for this course. Dr Kate Graham’s PhD research at Cornell University and her undergraduate research program has involved extensive fermentation of bacteria and fungi for pharmaceutical purposes.  She has also led study abroad programs in previous Januaries. She enjoys baking and spending time outdoors (kayaking, snowshoeing, walking the dog in the woods).  Kate loves traveling so this trip will combine her interests in chemistry, baking, travel, and fermented foods and beverages!

E-mail: [email protected]