cod. 1009057

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - Second semester
- Benedetta BOTTARI
Academic discipline
Microbiologia agraria (AGR/16)
Discipline per la caratterizzazione degli alimenti e gestione del sistema agroalimentare
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims to introduce the student to the meaning of the presence of microorganisms in food. The student will be able to understand how and why the contamination of a raw material can occur and how, through intrinsic, extrinsic and implicit factors, the development and / or survival of microorganisms in food is possible. Knowledge of these aspects will provide the essential elements to understand the role of microorganisms in food production and their impact on the functional aspects of food. The use of this knowledge will also allow us to understand how the different technologies used for the production of food / supplements can influence the vitality and microbial activity. The course aims to enable the student to draw conclusions regarding the effect of the presence and development of different microorganisms in functional foods.


The student should have basic knowledge of biology and microbiology

Course unit content

After an introduction on the concept of functional foods (definitions, history, regulatory hints), the first lessons will cover general topics related to microbial and the development effect of alterative and virtuous microorganisms in different foods in order to understand the meaning of presence of different microorganisms associated with different food products, to know food fermentations and understand the role of microorganisms in the transformation and conservation of products.
The second part of the course is aimed at presenting the role of microorganisms in increasing / functional characteristics of food. The third part will focus on probiotic microorganisms in food (definition, regulatory background, main course of probiotic microorganisms and their use in food; prebiotics).

Full programme

The microbiological quality of food
Microorganisms in fermented and unfermented foods: role and types of fermentations by microorganisms
Microorganisms in food: bacteria, yeasts, molds
Sources of contamination and starters
Contamination of food
Factors affecting the growth of microorganisms in food: temperature, pH, aw, redox potential and oxygen availability, composition of a food
Role of microorganisms on the functional aspects of unfermented foods
Role of microorganisms on the functional aspects of fermented foods
Probiotic microorganisms: definition, regulatory notes, main probiotic microorganisms and their use in food;


Luca Cocolin Marco Gobbetti Erasmo Neviani. Microbiologia alimentare applicata. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. Distribuzione esclusiva Zanichelli
2022Ravishankar Rai V, ‎Jamuna A. Bai · 2014 Beneficial Microbes in Fermented and Functional Foods

Teaching methods

The teaching will be carried out through frontal lessons using slides that represent teaching material made also available online in pdf format for students.

Assessment methods and criteria

At the end of each part of the course and during the course there will be classroom discussions with the students aimed at verifying the learning status.
The final learning test will be carried out by means of a written exam composed of a first part with closed answers (20 minutes of time for 30 questions) with a grade of 30/30 and a second part with an open question (30 minutes of time, grade in 30/30). The average of the votes, rounded up, of the questions will constitute the final grade. The sufficiency threshold will be reached if the average achieved is equal to or greater than eighteen thirty.

Other information

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