cod. 1008078

Academic year 2019/20
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Microbiologia agraria (AGR/16)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: -
course unit


Learning objectives

The course provides the elements of 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. The course also explores the industrial use of microorganisms through the technology of industrial fermentation processes. During lessons the student will improve his knowledge studying and discussing practical and theoretical "study cases" concerning the main topics of the lessons
The final goal of this course is to give students intellectual tools in order to judge and comprehend the main topics of food industrial microbiology.
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. The student will learn the structure of the principles of industrial and food microbiology, in terms of organization and management of the industrial process, from raw material to product.
Through the practical exercises 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 specific cases. The student will apply the acquired knowledge to the understanding and management of a production process, starting from the understanding of the microbiological elements characteristic of the process. The final goals will be able to evaluate, also through feasibility studies, the roles of the microorganisms involved in food industries also in term of their “technological” performance, in order to obtain safety, quality and profitability of the production process.
Students must be able to understand and critically evaluate the meaning, the technological role and the potential innovative applications of the microorganisms characteristic of food processes and of the industrial microbiology applications. Using the acquired knowledge in microbiology, the student will be able to analyze existing processes and plants, evaluating their performance, adequacy and possible improvements both in terms of performance and safety and quality.
Through the lectures and the discussion with the teacher, the student will acquire the specific vocabulary related to the food and industrial microbiology sector. It is expected that, at the end of the course, the student is able to transmit, in oral and written form (also with the help of informatics systems), the main contents of the course.
The student who has attended the course must be able to deepen their knowledge of microbiology of the food industry and industrial microbiology through the independent consultation of specialized texts.


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Course unit content

The micro-organisms and their natural environments and the impact of microorganisms on humans
• Structure and functions of microbial cells: prokaryotic cells and bacteria, yeasts, molds and eukaryotic cell
• Mechanisms of transport of nutrients to the microbial cell
• Classification of microorganisms according to the different energy sources and to the different uses of energy (phototrophic and chemiotrophic; general description of possible microbial degradation pathways of glucose, aerobic respiration/ anaerobic fermentation);
• Growth and kinetics of microbial growth: 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 the basic concepts of microbial phylogeny
• Microbial growth, survival and death of microorganisms in food
• Preservation of foods: physical, chemical and biological factors
• HACCP "risk analysis" and microbiological criteria
• Predictive models and "Risk Assessment"
• Heat treatments, "hurdle technology" and "mild technologies"
• Use of industrial microorganisms
Principles of fermentation technology (batch cultures, cultures Feedbatch, Continuous cultures)
Industrial processes and products (upstream, fermentation, downstream)
Design of fermenter (instrument and control)
• Production of biomass
• Production of metabolites (citric acid, amino acids, antibiotics, enzymes ....)
• Phases of an industrial bioprocess
• Up stream, process stream down
• The fermenter and controls
• Pilot fermenter and industrial fermentation
• Batch Fermentation
• Fermentation in fed-batch
• Continuous Fermentation
• Monod equation and management of fermentation processes
• Scaling up of fermentation processes
• Modelling the industrial fermentation processes

Full programme

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MICROBIOLOGIA DEI PRODOTTI ALIMENTARI, A.Farris, M.Gobbetti, E.Neviani, M.Vincenzini - ed. Ambrosiana Milano(2012)
Notes and slides from Prof. Neviani

Teaching methods

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. 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
The slides and the notes used to support the lessons will be loaded at the beginning of the course on the Elly platform

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 with a duration of about 60 minutes., either in form of multiple choices or open questions. In case of specific wish of the student the written test can be substituted or completed by an oral interview.
The final evaluation will depend on the percentage of correct answers. The test is passed if it reaches a score of at least 18 points. The praise is assigned in the case of reaching the maximum score on each item to which is added the mastery of the disciplinary lexicon.

Other information

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