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The feasibility of an adaptive controller for the fermentation of baker's yeast is investigated. A simplified model of the process was developed to aid the design of the parameter estimator and multivariable controller. Experiments were performed on a small-scale, fully instrumented fermenter under the control of the online real-time adaptive package. Results are presented to show the successful performance of the adaptive technique achieved by controlling various process variables, in both SIMO and MIMO configurations. The work indicates that the application of the adaptive technique compares favourably with semiautomated control techniques while providing great opportunities for enhancement and thereby superior control. It has been found necessary to omit a considerable amount of the biological detail surrounding the fermentation process so that attention can be focussed upon the adaptive-control applications.