Microbiology of processed foods
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to know the biological phenomena behind the use of virtuous microorganisms for the production of the main fermented foods. The knowledge of the principles of food processing obtained by fermentation will allow the student to understand the concepts of the interactions which occur between process technology and microorganisms used in the production of fermented foods healthy and of high quality. The knowledge acquired will enable students to learn how to control the growth of microorganisms necessary for the production of fermented foods both in industrial and in typical productions in spontaneous and driven fermentations. Particularly the students will be able to comprehend the meaning of presence and development of microorganisms in fermented food when they are added as starter or they are naturally present in raw material recognizing the role of autochthonous microorganisms. The course aims to put the student in a position to draw conclusions about the effect of the presence and development of virtuous microorganisms involved in in fermented food characteristics
The student should be able to appropriately utilize the scientific language and the specific lexicon of food microbiology, showing the ability to describe and transfe the acquired concepts.
Knowledge of basic aspect of microbiology and food microbiology
Course contents summary
The first lessons are about general aspect relating to spontaneous or driven fermentation as food processing method.
The second part of the course covers the knowledge of the main players of the microbial fermentation: lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and their use as natural or selected starter
The third part of the course deals with the characteristics and microbial dynamics responsible for the production of the main fermented foods of animal and vegetable origin
Fermentation as a method of food processing
Spontaneous and driven fermentation
Presence of microorganisms in fermented food: Lactic acid bacteria, yeast, natural and selected starter.
Microorganisms in dairy products: fermented milk, yogurt and cheeses.
The microbiological role in wine production. Yeast, lactic acid bacteria and mould in red win, white wine and special wine.
Role of microorganism involved in vinegar and balsamic vinegar production.
Microbiological role in bear production.
Microbiological role in meat fermentation.
The microbiological role in bread production, yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
Other vegetal fermented food: role of microorganisms in soia products,
Extractive fermentation: cacao
Giovanni Antonio Farris, Marco Gobbetti, Erasmo Neviani, Massimo Vincenzini “Microbiologia dei prodotti alimentari” (2012) Casa Editrice Ambrosiana ISBN: 978-88-08-18246-
Slides presented in the frontal lessons
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. Where possible, educational visits are planned to companies that take advantage of the microbial transformation for their own production.
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
At the end of the course, the level of learning of all the contents offered during the lessons will be verified. The learning test will be carried out by means of a written examination. The written exam is divided into three parts.
1. The first part consists of 10 closed-ended questions. The complete correctness of the answers to this first part is binding for the second and third part correction.
2. The second part consists of a series of closed-ended questions that will be evaluated in thirtieth. The achievement of the threshold of sufficiency (18/30) of this second part is binding for the correction of the third part. The vote won in this second part will weigh 70% on the final evaluation
3. The third part consists of an open-ended question where the student must demonstrate that he knows how to correctly understand the acquired concepts with the specific scientific language of the food microbiology. The answer will be evaluated in thirtieth. The vote in this third party will weigh 30% on the final evaluation