History

Studies of Food Technology and Biotechnology were constituted at the University of Zagreb by the act of the Parliament of Republic Croatia of 1956 by which a department of the Technical Faculty was separated to form an independent faculty called at the time the Faculty of Chemistry, Food and Mining with three corresponding departments.

The study at the Food Technology Department of the newly formed Faculty had three study tracks: Food Technology, Biotechnology, and Analytical Technology. In the first academic year 1956/1957, 432 students were enrolled into the Department from all over the former state.

Dynamic development of food technology and biotechnology in the last five decades was accompanied by the reorganisation of the Faculty which gradually, through several steps, led to the formation of the independent Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. This was how in 1960 Food Technology Department transformed into the Biotechnology Department of the Faculty of Technology which still had three study tracks. In the year 1979 through a reorganisation of the Faculty of Technology, the Biotechnology Department grew out into today’s Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. According to the study programme at the time, the tuition took place in two study tracks: Food Engineering and Biochemical Engineering, and with the completion of the study students were awarded the title „graduated engineers of food technology“. Since the year 1984 the study track Nutrition Science has been implemented. In the same year also the professional studies were introduced (so called VI grade).

Everlasting development of science in the fields of Faculty’s activities, as well as the emergence of new technologies based on new knowledge, particularly the development of modern molecular biology led to the need for further profiling of study programmes. This is how in the year 1996 two studies were founded: Food Technology with study tracks Food Engineering and Nutrition Science, and Biotechnology with study tracks Biochemistry/Microbiology and Biochemical Engineering.

Tuition changes in the Croatian high-education system according to the Bologna process have brought about redefining and further up-dating of our study programmes. Since the academic year 2005/2006 the tuition at the Faculty has been organised applying the 3+2 principle with three undergraduate studies lasting three years: Food Technology, Biotechnology, and Nutrition, while in the academic year 2008/2009 five graduate studies have been implemented: Food Engineering, Food Safety Management, Bioprocess Engineering, Molecular Biotechnology, and Nutrition. On top of graduate studies, the Faculty has a long tradition in conducting the postgraduate studies with the first organised as early as in 1960 in collaboration with the company Pliva. In the year 1965 the postgraduate tuition in the fields of food technology, biotechnology and food analytics has been started in frame of several postgraduate studies. With the implementation of the Bologna process three postgraduate university doctoral studies have been founded: Food Technology, Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, and Nutrition Science (today: Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, Food Technology and Nutrition), as well as two postgraduate professional studies: Food Management and Food Quality and Safety.

Along with the continuous up-grade and modernisation of the tuition process the development of the Faculty from its foundation until today embraces all other activities of a university level institution, in the first place the scientific research. From its first days the Faculty has been closely related to the Institute of Food Technology and a substantial number of Faculty teachers, particularly in the field of food technology and food quality control originated from this institute. Most investigation performed at the Faculty and the Institute at that time were of professional character. However, activities soon started to move in the direction of the basic, as well as the applied scientific investigation. Through the reorganisation in the year 1979 the Institute of Food Technology merged with the Faculty assuming the form of the newly established Food Control Centre.

An essential reliance in the development of research was also the mutual development of the Faculty and its own scientific journal which grew from the merely professional „Informacije Prehrambeno-tehnološkog instituta“ into a respected scientific journal „Food Technology and Biotechnology“, today recognised by the broad scientific community. Many faculty members have been recognised by the research community as outstanding investigators through their contributions published in this journal.

By educating its own tuition staff and by the training of our teachers at foreign institutions the Faculty has become a leading scientific&research institution in the field of biotechnical sciences as early as in mid-seventies of the last century, not only at the University of Zagreb and in Croatia, but also within the former state. The quality of research at the Faculty has continuously increased so that the up-till-now achieved results of both applied and fundamental research brought the Faculty about international recognition, and several research groups have reached the level of scientific excellence through the long year collaboration with scientists of the top-class European and world universities and institutes.

In the times of the highly dynamic expansion the faculty members gave a significant contribution to the development of the total academic community through their involvement in University management bodies as vice-rectors, or chairs of different university boards, as well as university student associations. On top of that, they have had leading roles in the formation and management of a number of professional societies both in Croatia and at the level of the former state.