Large scale fed-batch operations are industrially important in agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors. In fed-batch operations, we need to optimize the flow rates of rate limiting substrates to maximize the required performance index. Dynamic optimization of the feed rate profiles renders the problem quite complex and requires intelligent techniques. In this context, evolutionary algorithms have proven to be very useful. We introduce the application of a fairly recent nature-inspired evolutionary optimization technique-biogeography-based optimization (BBO), not so widely known as other established evolutionary optimization techniques-for the fed-batch bioreactor-based dynamic optimization problems. We demonstrate with the help of two case studies that BBO can achieve performance indices in close agreement or better than the results in the literature for the considered problems. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. All rights reserved.