Fermented Foods Microbiology

Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Agricultural Microbiology
Second semester
Year of study: 
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The teaching of Microbiology of Fermented Foods aims to enable the student to independently draw conclusions regarding the effect of the presence and development of microorganisms with technological aptitude involved in the transformation of food by fermentation in accordance with what is defined in the objectives. specific to the Degree Course and to the food microbiology area.
For this reason, the student will have to know the biological phenomena underlying the use of virtuous microorganisms for the production of the main fermented foods.
The expected learning outcomes are: 1) Knowledge and understanding: knowledge of the zootechnical, agronomic and environmental factors that define the quality and safety of food processed by fermentation; knowledge of the microbiological biodiversity involved in food processing; knowledge of the processes most used in the food industry in the transformation of food by fermentation; knowledge of food modification aspects and the effect of the fermentation process on food components; understanding of how chemical, physical and biological factors affect the development and survival of microorganisms that process food by fermentation
2) application skills: evaluate the microbiological quality of fermented foods; identify and predict the effect of the different technological processes of fermentation on the quality and safety of food
3) Independent judgment: evaluate the effect of environmental parameters on cell duplication in fermented foods; evaluate the effect of the different technological processes on the fermentation of food; Collect and critically interpret data on fermentative processed foods; critical use of data from scientific literature
4) Communication skills: Written and oral communication through the scientifically correct vocabulary relating to fermented foods; Ability to present, transmit and disseminate information on topics related to fermented foods (from production to consumption); Ability to communicate with experts or non-experts in the sector of fermented food production, and when sent to work to superiors and / or customers; Ability to communicate basic microbiology aspects that can have an impact in fermented foods; Ability to communicate and collaborate in group work in the food sector
5) ability to learn: Ability to consult bibliographic material, databases relating to fermented foods; Ability to consult databases relating to microorganisms in fermented foods; Ability to critically consult websites relating to fermented foods; Ability to profitably participate in seminars and training study days; ability to autonomously expand one's scientific-cultural background and keep updating on the most recent scientific and technological developments connected to the world of fermented foods; "Ability to successfully carry out the Master's Degree courses of the LM70 class and in particular the Master's Degree course in Food Science and Technology


General microbiology knowledge and the first food microbiology module are required

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

Course contents

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,
olives, sauerkrauts,
Extractive fermentation: cacao

Recommended readings

Antonio Farris, Marco Gobbetti, Erasmo Neviani, Massimo Vincenzini “Microbiologia dei prodotti alimentari” (2012) Casa Editrice Ambrosiana ISBN: 978-88-08-18246-
Didactic material used during frontal lessons

Teaching methods

The teaching will be carried out through classroom lectures with the aid of slides which will represent didactic material, to complement the recommended text. The slides will be available online on the website https://elly.saf.unipr.it/2019/ in pdf format for students. The lessons also include the discussion of examples of the most recent real cases. For this reason, the slides, which are gradually updated for each topic, will be uploaded to Elly before each topic discussed and not all together at the beginning of the course. During the lessons, the appropriate use of technical language will be reiterated, and the links between the various parts of the course will be highlighted. For this reason, the presence and active participation of students is strongly encouraged

Assessment methods and criteria

At the end of the course the level of learning of the expected results will be verified for all the contents offered during the lessons. The SECOND MODULE learning verification will be carried out through a single test through a written exam.
In order to take the exam, the minimum of results expected from the first food microbiology module must be achieved. That is, it is necessary to have achieved at least 18/30 in the partial test of the first module.
Registration for the VERBALIZING EXAM takes place through the ESSE3 system.
The written exam, to be carried out within 1 hour and 30 minutes, consists of three parts.
Each part is formulated in order to establish the evaluation on the degree of achievement of the course objectives.
The evaluation of the 1. knowledge and ability of theoretical and applicative understanding of the studied topics; 2. independent judgment and ability to connect between the topics studied; 3. appropriateness in the use of technical-scientific language; 4. ability to learn and deepen the topics studied
Each part is formulated in order to establish the evaluation on the degree of achievement of the course objectives. In particular, the student will have to demonstrate that he has understood, and that he is able to apply, the fundamental concepts of each topic covered
1. The first consists of 10 questions that verify the achievement of the minimum knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the course. For this reason, only if the answer to all the questions (with closed answers) is correct, the following parts will be evaluated
2. The second part consists of 21 closed-ended questions aimed at assessing the level of knowledge acquired in all the topics covered. Each correct answer is worth 1.5 points. The achievement of the sufficiency threshold of this second part is binding for the correction of the third part. The sufficiency of 18/30 is achieved with at least 12 correct answers. The mark obtained in the second part will weigh 70% on the grade I vote
3. The third part consists of an open-ended question where the student must demonstrate his ability to apply the acquired competence to a typical case. The answer is also assessed on the basis of how the student is able to express himself correctly, with the specific scientific language of food microbiology. The answer will be evaluated in 30/30. The mark obtained in this part will weigh 30% on the grade I vote.

Achieving 18/30 in this second module is necessary to pass the integrated exam. The level obtained in this module (if higher than 18/30) will weigh 50% on the final mark of the integrated course.
The final mark of the integrated course is that reported as a result of the verbalizing appeal. While the mark obtained for the second module is reported in ESSE3 in the NOTES for the STUDENT
The exam results are published on the ESSE3portal (https://unipr.esse3.cineca.it/Home.do) within reasonable times compatible with the number of students enrolled. Students can view the exam by appointment with the teacher