Microbial biotechnology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course deals with the genotypic characteristics of the main microbial groups involved in the food industry and with the main molecular methods employed in modern microbiological laboratories. The course will also provide the fundamental knowledge related to biotechnological aspects of industrial fermentation processes.
Expected learning outcomes
Main purpose: to supply the basic operative and cultural means for a better control and exploitation of microorganism in the food sector. After course the student will be able to individuate the strategies for the set-up of biotechnological process and monitoring the main parameters which influence the fermentation processes.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods: lessons will be held synchronously/asynchronously on the Microsoft Teams platform and uploaded for students on the Ariel platform. Video lessons will consist of recording of the teacher's desktop with audio commentary.
The methods and criteria for participating in face-to-face meetings, which provide for a reservation with a special app, will be published on time in Ariel, as well as all the above material and notices relating to any course update related to the evolution of the legislation imposed by COVID-19.
The part related to laboratory practices will be carried out, compatibly with the regulations in force at the moment, both in presence in the laboratory by applying the rules of social distancing developed, as well as through the use of specially created videos.
Program and reference material: the program and the reference material will not change.
Verification of learning and evaluation criteria: the exam will take place orally using the Microsoft Teams or Skype platforms.
Course syllabus
Unit 1:
Application of bacterial genetic principles for the phylogenetic, taxonomic and identification studies of microorganism isolated from foods. Use of molecular techniques for the microbiological analysis of food products: planning of experimental protocols for the isolation and selection of peculiar microorganisms from heterogeneous matrices; ideation of species-specific probes. Knowledge of the specific operation on bacterial genome for the obtainment of improved and/or modified microbial strains; discussion on the related problems. LABORATORY SECTION- Bacterial DNA extraction and in vitro amplification.

Unit 2:
Biotechnology definition and elements which compose a process. Biotechnological production classification. Process biotechnologies: batch, continuous and fed-batch cultures. Production of organic acids: lactic, citric and gluconic. Productivity in different culture conditions. Microbial immobilized cells. Bioreactors. Aeration (OTR and OUR) and agitation. Use of plant and mammalian cell cultures. Other process parameters. LABORATORY SECTION- Microbial growth evaluation employing different procedures. Evaluation and analysis of the obtained results. Immobilization of baker's yeast cells in alginate and set-up of a bioreactor to evaluate the fermentation performance. Determination of the main process parameters from experimental data.
Prerequisites for admission
No other prerequisities are requested rather than those needed to access to the Master degree.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons and individual laboratory practises.
Teaching Resources
Slides shown during the lessons. Other material proposed by the teacher. Ariel platform
Assessment methods and Criteria
Registration for the exam will take place through the UNIMIA system. The oral exam will be evaluated out on the ability to organize and describe the overall knowledge, as well as the competence to use specific scientific terms.
Students with specific learning disabilities are requested to contact the teachers through email at least 10 days before the exam session to agree on any individualized measures. In the email addressed to the teachers it is necessary to put the respective University Services in CC: serviziodsa@unimi.it and ufficiodisabili@unimi.it.
The final evaluation is expressed in /30 and communicated to the student by e-mail through the verbalization system.
Industrial fermentations
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 5
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Unità didattica 1: Biotecnologie genetico-molecolari
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 4
Laboratories: 8 hours
Lessons: 28 hours