Advanced dairy microbiology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To design and implement control systems of hygiene to ensure safety and quality of dairy products. To deepen the knowledge on the risk analysis and the application of predictive microbiology in dairy processes. To provide advanced knowledge on the role and management of the starter cultures in dairy.
Expected learning outcomes
Ability to establish and evaluate a HACCP plan for dairy plants. Skills to prevent, control and manage the presence/activity of microorganisms (pathogens, spoilage microrganisms, LAB, NSLAB, probiotics, bacteriophages, mycetes, mycotoxins) in dairy processes. Assessment of the survival/growth of a microorganism in dairy products through algorithms modeling. Management and improvement of starter cultures. Update on applications and methods in physiology, genetics and biotechnology of dairy microorganisms.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
To provide the teaching offer to all students in compliance with the restrictions established by regulations relating to COVID 19 emergency, the lessons will be held synchronously through the Microsoft Teams platform in accordance with the official calendar. The audio and video recordings of the lessons will be available to students asynchronously through the Ariel platform.
The course will include 16 hours of lab experiences in presence of students who choose to participate through the booking application made available by UNIMI.
Verification: for oral exam the Microsoft Teams platform should be used. Registration to the exam session by UNIMIA system is mandatory.
Course syllabus
Hygiene and safety of dairy products (2.5 CFU). Sources of contamination, methods of prevention and control of pathogenic microorganisms in the production chain. Food safety criteria and process hygiene criteria. Sampling plans. Good Hygienic Practices. Design and management of the HACCP system. Microbiological risk analysis. Insights on the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, mycotoxins. Prevalence of microbial groups depending on the technology: liquid milk, powdered milk, fermented milk, butter, fresh cheese, medium / long aged cheeses, by-products. Principles and applications of predictive microbiology.
Management of microbial starter cultures (2.5 CFU). Molecular techniques for genotyping of microorganisms. Primary and secondary metabolism of Lactic Acid Bacteria and effects on the end product. The "natural" bacterial cultures (in whey / in milk) and the selected strains. Phenotypic and technological criteria for selecting strains. Non-Starters Lactic Acid Bacteria (NSLAB) used in cheese-making (propionibacteria, brevibacteria, yeasts, molds). Morfology and physiology of bacteriophages. Control of phage infections in the dairy plants. Starter cultures management.
Individual laboratory exercises (1CFU). Microbiological analysis of a dairy product by cultivation techniques. Immuno-enzymatic analysis for the determination of toxins. Genetic analysis for species identification.
Educational visits to dairy establishments.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of microbiology and food or agriculture microbiology.
Teaching methods
Teaching is provided through class lectures (5CFU), laboratory exercises and educational visits to dairy establishments (1CFU).
Teaching Resources
The teaching material consists of lecture slides, EU regulations, scientific articles provided by the teacher, available on the Ariel website.
Most of the lessons have been recorded and are already available on the Ariel website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The student can choose between two options:
1. oral exam;
2. editing of a document (HACCP plan) on a process of a dairy product to be agreed with the teacher. The document must be delivered in paper format at least 15 days before the exam session to allow the correction. The teacher can request explanations on the preparation of the document at the exam session.
Registration to the exam session by UniMia platform is mandatory.
Evaluation parameters: demonstration of acquisition of the concepts; ability to organize knowledge; correct use of the specialized vocabulary.
Evaluation: mark out of thirty.
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
On appointment
Room 4023, via Mangiagalli, 25, 4th floor