Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and ability to understand: through the lectures held during the course, the student will acquire the methods and knowledge necessary to understand the significance of the presence of microorganisms in food production and their impact on the quality and safety of food.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
Using examples (videos, newspaper articles, scientific articles), related to food products and processes, students learn how to apply the acquired knowledge in a real context.
Autonomy of judgment
The student must be able to understand and critically evaluate the microbiological aspects related to products and food production. Using the acquired knowledge will have to be able to evaluate the significance of the presence of microorganisms in the different phases of the food supply chain, from primary production to distribution and consumption.
In particular, it must have acquired the ability to independently assess the quality and microbiological safety of food products and processes, including the distribution phases.
Through the lectures, the comparison with the teacher and any group work, the student acquires the specific vocabulary related to food microbiology. It is expected that, at the end of the course, the student is able to transmit, in oral and written form, the main contents of the course, such as dangers and microbiological risks related to food, sanitary problems and / or food quality.
The student who has attended the course will be able to deepen their knowledge on food microbiology through the independent consultation of specialized texts, scientific or popular journals, even outside the topics dealt with strictly in class, in order to deal effectively insertion into the world of work or undertake further training courses.
In particular, the objectives are as follows:
a) Know the role of pathogenic, useful and harmful microorganisms in food
b) Know the main diseases in food transmission
c) To know the alterations of microbial origin of foods
d) To know the intrinsic, extrinsic and implicit factors that influence the development and survival of microorganisms in food
e) Understanding the principles of micro-organism control through physical, chemical and biological treatments or combinations thereof. The course aims to provide students with the skills to evaluate the effects of microbial presence and development in foods.
The knowledge of these aspects will provide the student with the essential skills to understand the significance of the presence of microorganisms in food production and their impact on the quality of food. The use of this knowledge will also allow us to understand the principles of micro-organism control through physical, chemical and biological treatments or combinations thereof. The aim of the course is to enable students to draw autonomously conclusions regarding the effect of the presence and development of the various microorganisms in foods in accordance with the specific objectives of the Degree Course in Gastronomic Sciences and the area of food microbiology.
There are no compulsory propaedeutical courses. Knowledge of the principles of general microbiology is recommended
Course contents summary
The first lessons are about topics of general interest related to microbial contamination and the effect of their development in food
The second part of the course are about the factors that influence the growth of microorganisms in foods and the modalities of prevention or reduction of microbial contamination in foods
The third part of the course focuses on the effect of the development of pathogenic, alterative and virtuous microorganisms in different foods
The microbiological quality of food
The microorganisms in fermented and unfermented foods: role and types of fermentation by microorganisms
Micro-organisms in food: bacteria, yeasts, molds
Process and contamination indicator microorganisms
Protecnological, alterative, pathogenic microorganisms
Alterative microorganisms: food degradation
Pathogenic micro-organisms: pathogenesis, risk assessment.
Infections, poisonings and food toxins
Foods and factors of virulence and toxins
Pathogenic microorganisms in foods: Gram- and Gram +
Contamination of food
Factors that influence the growth of microorganisms in food: temperature, pH, Aw, redox potential and oxygen availability, a food composition
Microbiology of foods of animal origin
Microbiology of foods of plant origin
Teaching material related to the lessons: The slides of the course in PDF format and all the material used during the lessons (movies, web extracts ..) are made available to the students and shared on the platform elly.saf.unipr.it
In addition to the shared material, the student can personally deepen some topics addressed during the course by referring to the following texts:
Giovanni Antonio Farris, Marco Gobbetti, Erasmo Neviani, Massimo Vincenzini “Microbiologia dei prodotti alimentari” (2012) Casa Editrice Ambrosiana ISBN: 978-88-08-18246
The teaching will be carried out through classroom lectures with the help of slides that will represent educational material available online in pdf format for students. At the end of each part of the course during the course there are periodic lectures dedicated to classroom discussion with the students aimed at verifying the learning status. The slides and the notes used to support the lessons will be uploaded at the beginning of the course on the Elly platform and on a shared folder on Google Drive. Registration to the online course is required to download the slides from Elly. All shared material is considered an integral part of the teaching material. Non-attending students are reminded to check the available teaching materials and the indications provided by the teacher through the Elly platform, the only communication tool used for direct teacher / student contact. On this platform, day by day, the topics discussed in class are indicated, which will then constitute the contents index in preparation for the final exam.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final learning check will be carried out by a written exam, 1.5 hours long, consisting of three parts:
• consists of 10 questions whose correct answer is necessary for the subsequent parts to be corrected
• consists of 21 questions. Each correct answer is worth 1,5 points. The achievement of the sufficiency threshold (18/30) of this second part is binding for the correction of the third part. The vote achieved in this part will weigh 70% on the voting of the first module
• consists of an open-ended question where the student must demonstrate that he is able to correctly express the acquired concepts with the specific scientific language of food microbiology. The answer will be evaluated in 30ths. The vote achieved in this part will weigh 30% on the voting of the first module.
Basic questions are asked concerning the aspects of contamination, development and protection of food from microbial development and specific questions concerning different foods.
“30 cum laude” is assigned in the case of reaching the maximum score in each part to which is added the mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.