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. The knowledge of the principles underlying the transformation of food by fermentation will allow the student to understand the principles underlying the interactions between processing technology and microorganisms used in the production of healthy and high quality fermented foods.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
Using examples (videos, newspaper articles, scientific articles) relating to food products and processes, students learn how to apply the knowledge acquired in a real context. The acquired knowledge will allow the student to obtain suitable skills in how to control the development of harmful microorganisms and those necessary for the production of fermented foods for both artisanal and industrial productions. In particular, the student must be able to define the effects of guided and spontaneous fermentations in the production of fermented foods obtained with or without starter cultures by distinguishing the role of microorganisms, in particular bacteria and yeasts, deliberately added from those naturally contaminating the raw material. Autonomy of judgment
The student must be able to understand and critically evaluate the microbiological aspects related to food products and production. Using the knowledge acquired, he must be able to evaluate the significance of the presence of microorganisms in the various stages of the food chain, from primary production to distribution and consumption.
In particular, they must have acquired the ability to independently assess the quality and microbiological safety of food products and processes, including the distribution phases.
The student will be in a position to draw conclusions regarding the effect of the presence and development of the virtuous microorganisms responsible for the valuable characteristics in accordance with what is defined in the specific objectives of the course and in the area of food microbiology
Through the lectures, the comparison with the teacher and possible group work, the student acquires the specific vocabulary concerning the microbiology of food. At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to transmit the main contents of the course in oral and written form.
The student who has attended the course will be able to deepen their knowledge in the field of food microbiology through the independent consultation of specialized texts, scientific or popular magazines, even outside the topics strictly covered in class, in order to effectively address entering the world of work or undertaking subsequent study courses.
The student must have acquired the knowledge and skills of the Elements of General Microbiology for the food sector.
Course contents summary
The first lessons are to present the possibilities of microbial contamination of food: useful, alterative and pathogenic microorganisms.
The second part of the course deals with the factors that influence the growth of microorganisms in food and how to protect food from unwanted microbial development. They will therefore present the microbiological characteristics of the raw materials of animal and vegetable origin.
In the third part of the course the concepts of fermentation (spontaneous or guided), as a method of preserving and transforming food will be treated. After presenting
the main microbial protagonists of fermentation: lactic bacteria and yeasts and their method of use as natural or selected starters, in the last part of the course
the characteristics and microbial dynamics underlying the production of the main fermented foods of animal and vegetable origin will be discussed
The microbiological quality of food
Microbial contamination of food
Process and contamination indicator microorganisms
Protechnological, alterative, pathogenic microorganisms
Alterative microorganisms: food degradation
Pathogenic microorganisms: pathogenesis, risk assessment.
Infections, poisoning and food poisoning
Pathogenic microorganisms in food: Gram- and Gram +
Factors that influence the growth of food microorganisms: temperature, pH, Aw, redox potential and oxygen availability, composition of a food
Microbiology of food of animal origin
Microbiology of food of plant origin
Fermentation as a method of food processing.
The guided and spontaneous fermentation.
Presence of microorganisms in fermented foods: lactic bacteria, yeasts, natural and selected starters
Microbial significance in dairy products: fermented milks, yogurt and cheeses
Role of microorganisms in the winemaking process, in white, red and special wines: oenological yeasts, lactic bacteria, molds
Role of microorganisms in the production of wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
Role of microorganisms for beer production
Role of microorganisms for the production of fermented products: salamis.
Role of microorganisms for the production of fermented baked goods: acid doughs
Role of microorganisms for the production of fermental plant products: sauerkraut, olives, soy products
Extractive fermentations: cocoa and coffee
Teaching material relating to the lessons: The course slides in PDF format and all the material used during the lessons (videos, web extracts ..) are made available to students and shared on the elly.saf.unipr.it platform.
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; Microbiology of Fermented Foods
Authors: Wood, Brian J.B. ed: Blackie academics and professionals
The course weighs 9 CFU which correspond to 63 hours of frontal teaching. The teaching will be carried out through lectures in the classroom with the help of slides that will represent teaching material available online in pdf format for students. The lessons will be recorded and made available, on the ELY page of the course, for the students to use remotely, asynchronously.
At the end of each part of the course during the course there are periodic lessons dedicated to classroom discussion with students aimed at verifying the learning status.
All shared material is considered an integral part of the teaching material. Non-attending students are reminded to check the teaching material available and the information provided by the teacher through the Elly platform, the only communication tool used for direct teacher / student contact.
On this platform, the topics covered in class are indicated which will then constitute the index of contents in view of the preparation for the final exam.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final assessment will be carried out through a written exam lasting 1.5 hours consisting of three parts:
· It consists of 10 questions whose answer is necessary for the following parts to be necessary
· 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 grade obtained in this part will weigh 70% on the final grade.
· Consists of an open-ended question where the student must be able to correctly express the concepts acquired with the specific scientific language of food microbiology. The answer will be evaluated in 30ths. The grade obtained in this part will weigh 30% on the grade of the 1st module.
There are basic questions regarding issues of microbial food issue, development and protection, food fermentations and specific questions regarding different fermented and non-fermented foods.
Honors are awarded in the case of achieving the maximum score in each part to which is added the mastery of the disciplinary vocabulary.
If it is not possible to carry out the exams in person (for example in the case of the persistence of the emergency situation linked to the pandemic), these will be carried out remotely, through a written test with closed answers (30 questions, each worth one point) on elly, with monitoring of students via teams and proctoring system (respondus). At the end of the written test the students learn the result of the written test and with the passing threshold (18/30) they access a short oral test, always at a distance, through a team, in which the teacher verifies the congruence between the result of the writing and the effective preparation of the student, as well as the use of the appropriate language. The oral part can confirm, worsen or improve the written grade (up to a maximum of +5 points).