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 of fermented food microbiology 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 in industrial production. The course aims to put the student in a position to draw conclusions about the effect of the presence and development of microorganisms with technological attitude 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 course aims to familiarize the student with the main aspects of microbiology and foods, so the prerequisites are a knowledge of microbiology in general.
Course contents summary
The first lessons of "food microbiology" course 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 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
The first lessons of "fermented food microbiology" course are about general aspect relating to spontaneous or guided 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
The microbiological quality of foods.
The microorganisms in fermented and non fermented foods. Microorganisms in foods: bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
Microorganisms as indicators of process and contamination.
Pro-technological microorganisms, modifiers, pathogens.
Modifying microorganisms: food degradation.
Pathogenic microorganisms: pathogenesis. Infections and food poisonings: definition.
Virulent and toxic factors.
Pathogenic microorganisms in foods: Gram – and Gram +.
The contamination of foods.
Factors which influence the growth of microorganisms in foods: temperature, pH, Aw, potential redox and availability of oxygen, food composition.
The control of growth and survival: checking pH.
Checking the Aw, use of low and high temperatures, packaging and protective atmospheres.
Other technological interventions that impact microorganisms: treatment with ionized radiation. Applications of high pressure and electric pulses.
Food additives addition
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.
The microbiological role in bear production.
The microbiological role in meat fermentation.
The microbiological role in bread production, yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
The microorganism involved in vinegar and balsamic vinegar production.
Other vegetal fermented food: role of microorganisms in soia products, olives, sauerkrauts, coffe and cacao
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 frontal lessons using slides that represent teaching material made also available online in pdf format for students. The course of "Food microbiology" will also be joined by lessons about methods of laboratory analysis regarding the protocol most commonly used for counting of microorganisms
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 18 and 30. The final evaluation will be obtained from the average achieved. The average achieved will be the same or more than eighteen in order to pass the exam
Each module contributes to 50% of the final evaluation of the student