PRINCIPLES OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course provides the elements of the general microbiology needed to understand the meaning and role of microorganisms in food production. Through the study of cellular and metabolic characteristics of microorganisms in food, the course presents the potential for development and control of microorganisms in food products and processes.
During the course the student will have the ability to understand, study, elaborate and discuss "case studies" elaborated in relation to the course contents.
The aim of the course is to achieve independent judgment, communication and learning abilities in accordance with the specific objectives of the couurse.
Through the lectures held during the course, the student will acquire the methods and knowledge necessary to describe the industrial fermentation systems of the food industry.
Through the practical exercises carried out in the classroom on some topics of the program, students will learn how to apply the acquired knowledge in a context that simulates the industrial reality through discussion of case studies. In particular, the student must apply the acquired knowledge to the understanding of a production process, starting from an understanding of the microbiological elements characteristic of the process to evaluate the production solutions useful for obtaining safety, quality and profitability of the production process.
At the end of the course the student must be able to understand and critically evaluate the significance, the technological role and the potential innovative applications of the microorganisms characteristic of the food processes.
Through the lectures and the comparison with the teacher, the student will acquire the specific vocabulary related to the food microbiology sector. At the end of the course, the student must be able to transmit, in oral and written form (also with the help of computer systems), the main contents of the course.
Students who have attended the course must be able to deepen their knowledge on the microbiology of the food industry through the independent consultation of specialized texts
Course contents summary
The micro-organisms and their natural environments and the impact of microorganisms on humans life quality will be treated. In particular food microbiota will be discussed
In particular will be considered the:
• Structure and functions of the microbial cell: the bacteria and the prokaryotic cell, the yeasts, the molds and the eukaryotic cell
• Nutrient transport mechanisms necessary for the microbial cell
• Microbial classification according to the different energy sources and the different uses of energy (chemotrophic and phototrophic products, general description of the possible pathways of microbial glucose degradation, aerobic / anaerobic respiration, fermentation);
• Growth and kinetics of microbial development: Cell division; Evaluation of microbial growth; Effect of environmental stress and cellular response to physical, chemical and biological factors; Colonization of matrices; Biofilm formation
• Microbial taxonomy: classification criteria and basic concepts of microbial phylogeny
• Industrial use of microorganisms
• Principles of fermentation technology
• Processes and products of the food industry
• Stages of an industrial bioprocess
• Safety and quality in food products
MICROBIOLOGIA DEI PRODOTTI ALIMENTARI, A.Farris, M.Gobbetti, E.Neviani, M.Vincenzini - ed. Ambrosiana Milano(2012)
Notes from Prof. Neviani
The theoretical topics of the course are explained by means of lectures and will be carried out with the help of slides that represent educational material for students. Slides will be available on line. The slides and the notes used to support the lessons will be loaded at the beginning of the course on the Elly platform.
Basis and applications of industrial food microbiology will be dicussed during lessons.
The study, elaboration and discussion of specific "study cases (exercises and business cases)" are proposed on the practical parts of the course and could permit to verify the student comprehention and elaboration capacity
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. During the course, some lessons will be devoted to student presentation and discussion of "study cases" useful to understand and verify the state of comprehension and the elaboration capacity reached concerning industrial microbiology application fields.
Final examination will be carried out by a written test, either in form of multiple choices or open questions. The final evaluation will depend on the percentage of correct answers.