Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course of Food Microbiology aims to know the effect of the presence and development of pathogenic, spoilage and virtuous microorganisms in food. In particular, it should be developed knowledge about the major diseases originating from microorganisms through the consumption of food and alterations of microbial origin of food. Students must know the intrinsic, extrinsic and implicit factors that influence the development and survival of microorganisms in food. The knowledge of these aspects will provide the essential elements for understanding the role of microorganisms in food production and their impact on food quality. The use of this knowledge will also allow to understand the principles of the control of microorganisms using physical, chemical and biological or their combinations. The course aims to put the student in a position to draw conclusions about the effect of the presence and development of different microorganisms in food as defined in agreement with the specific objectives of the Master of Science in Food Science and Technology and in agreement with the area of food microbiology.
The student should be able to appropriately utilize the scientific language and the specific lexicon of food microbiology, showing the ability to describe and transfer in oral and written form the acquired concepts.
The lab book should be written correctly, with a synthetic but proper language and with a clear exposition and comment of the experimental results.
knowledge of general microbiology
Course contents summary
The first lessons are about topics of general interest related to microbial food contamination.
The second part of the course are about the effect of the development of pathogenic, alterative and virtuous microorganisms in different foods
The third part of the course focuses on the factors that influence the growth of microorganisms in foods and the modalities of their control in order to prevent or reduce the development of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and promote the growth of microorganisms virtuous
Microbiology and foods: basic concept of microbial contamination and microbial development in food
Food microbial quality: Microorganisms as indicators of process and contamination
Microbial contamination and food
Microbial growth phases and factors conditioning their development in foods: i) intrinsic (water activity, pH, Red-ox, nutrient, antimicrobial compounds), ii) extrinsic (temperature, humidity, atmosphere packaging, preservatives, treatments) and implicit (microbial interaction)
Spoilage of microbial origin: spoilage microorganisms and different type of food spoilage
Food borne microorganisms. Microbial food safety risk assessment of most important foodborne pathogens.
control of microorganisms in food. Safety, sterility and stability. Effect of some food control strategies: thermal treatment, water activity reduction, pH decrease, others
Main microbial aspects of: water and non alcoholic beverage, milk, meat, fish, fruit and vegetable, eggs, honey, preserved food
Giovanni Antonio Farris, Marco Gobbetti, Erasmo Neviani, Massimo Vincenzini “Microbiologia dei prodotti alimentari” (2012) Casa Editrice Ambrosiana ISBN: 978-88-08-18246
Slides used during frontal lesson
The teaching will be carried out through frontal lessons using slides that represent teaching material made also available online in pdf format for students. The course will also be joined by lessons about methods of laboratory analysis regarding the protocol most commonly used for counting of microorganisms. The laboratory experience, individually carried out by each student, will be evaluated at the end of each day. Laboratory evaluation will be considered as a part of the final evaluation
Assessment methods and criteria
Specific lessons aimed to assessing the state of learning will be carried out at the end of each part of the course. Final examination will be carried out by a written examination with open questions. Each questions will be evaluated in arrange between 0 and 30. Each response will be evaluated in thirtieth and final vote will be obtained from the average achieved whereas the average of the first three questions accounts for 70% and the average of the laboratory application and exercises accounts for 30%.
Sufficiency will be reached if the average achieved will be equal to or greater than eighteen thirty.
The teaching is integrated with the module "Microbiology of Fermented Food" and contributes to 50% of the final evaluation of the student
Lessons frequency is not mandatory, although strongly encouraged. Lab experiments are mandatory: the student will be admitted to the final examination only if he/she has attended all the lab experiments, eventually without one justified absence