Microbial cultures for industrial food applications

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the knowledge related to the production and characterization of microbial cultures at industrial level. The course also aims to provide students with knowledge of EU and US regulations that define regulatory constraints and guidelines for the use of microorganisms in the food chain.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to manage the microbial cultures used in food both from a technical and regulatory point of view.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The course will be guaranteed to all students in synchronous mode using the Microsoft Teams platform and respecting the schedule of lessons. The teaching material and course content will be made available through the Ariel platform. Some lessons may be held in person, however, guaranteeing the synchronous mode for students who will not have the opportunity to reach the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. The face-to-face lessons will aim to encourage interaction with students, for further information and clarifications.
Course syllabus
Definition of microbial cultures; historical notes on their use since ancient times; declaration of microbial cultures (Reg EU 1169/2011 and updates). Regulations and safety criteria for microbial cultures, role of the institutions involved in the risk assessment of microbial cultures (EU Commission, EFSA, FEEDAP, BOHAZ, IDF, EFFCA); USA: FDA and GRAS; EU: EFSA and QPS list; the Nagoya Protocol; the Cartagena Protocol on Biosecurity. "Desired" properties (inhibition of pathogens, degradation of toxic compounds, improvement of food digestibility, enrichment of the food with vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and proteins) and "unwanted" (production of toxic metabolites, virulence factors, antibiotic resistance) of microbial cultures. Focus on antibiotic resistance in the food chain and EFSA documents with guidelines for determining sensitivity to antibiotics. Genotypic methods for the evaluation of microbial cultures: Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). Stability of microbial cultures (what is stability and how to control it, examples: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Lactobacillus paracasei F19). How the production conditions of microbial cultures can affect their biomass yield, their activity in the industrial fermentation process and their stability. Description of the main microbial cultures that have a technological and / or beneficial role in fermented products: protective cultures. Some examples of microbial cultures and their applications in the food industry (such as preservation, for the creation of new products, for the modification of some food properties and for the production of antimicrobials, vitamins and vaccines).
The teaching will also make use of seminars held by industry experts.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of general microbiology and biochemistry.
Teaching methods
In presence lectures in faculty and lectures in synchronous mode through the Microsoft Teams platform.
Teaching Resources
Slides of the lessons, scientific articles used as a reference in the preparation of the slides. All the material will be made available on the Ariel platform and in the Team created by the teacher.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will take place through an oral interview and will focus on the discussion of a scientific work chosen by the student and concerning microbial cultures for the food industry. Registration for the exam will take place through the SIFA system.
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 4
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Arioli Stefania