Applied microbiology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with a doing by learning approach the technical / scientific knowledge related to the most common protocols implemented in an environmental and food microbiology laboratory. The course aims to provide students with the ability to define the analytical methods and procedures to be adopted to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the quality / process and safety indicators of a food along its entire production chain starting from the raw material. Finally, the course will provide the necessary operational tools to apply the concepts of industrial microbiology to the laboratory.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to carry out the most common activities of an environmental and food microbiology laboratory. At the end of the course, students will be able to design, organize and carry out experimental protocols for the correct identification of microorganisms of food interest as well as critically addressing the various steps of a food process in order to develop risk analysis. At the end of the course the students will also be able to organize and carry out the operations of setting up a biotechnological process, starting from the laboratory scale to the pilot scale up to the industrial scale.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Quality teaching will be guaranteed to all students, even those who cannot physically go to the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences will be able to take advantage of the didactic contents offered by the teaching of General and Food Microbiology.
The lectures will be conducted remotely and synchronously according to the scheduled lessons. The laboratory activities will be carried out in part in presence and in part remotely by providing video recordings of the practical activities. The lessons carried out in the presence will be largely carried out in classrooms dedicated to streaming teaching. The didactic contents will however be available for all students on the ARIEL platform. The platform used for distance learning will be Microsoft Teams.
Course syllabus
Preparation of culture media for the cultivation and maintenance of microorganisms of environmental and food interest. Cultivation of microorganisms in pure culture. Isolation of microorganisms from environmental and food samples. Quantification of the microbial load through the vital count method. Description of the bacterial colony. Performing Gram stain on bacterial cultures. Performing fermentation tests of sugars in pure cultures of microorganisms isolated from food matrices. The concept of bacterial species: phenotypic, genetic, phylogenetic characteristics. The principles of in vitro DNA amplification (PCR) and the methodologies used in microbial identification. Target genes, construction of primers, use of genomic date banks. Extraction, quantification and electrophoretic analysis of microbial DNA. Carrying out PCR analyzes for the identification of microorganisms of food interest.
Guidelines for the preparation of microbiological analyzes on food samples (qualitative and quantitative analyzes). Performing microbiological analyzes on the main types of food (fresh, packaged, fermented and low-water content products), both through the use of traditional microbiology techniques and through the use of rapid and alternative methods, interpretation of results and methods of drafting of a test report. Methods of analysis and monitoring of the environment
Development of risk analysis and development of a self-control plan for the most common food production and handling processes. Principles of microbiological modeling and methods of preparation of microbial challenge tests.
Preparation and maintenance of selected microbial cultures. From the test tube to the fermenter: preparation of pre-inoculation cultures and choice of appropriate culture media. The concept of scaling-up and protocols for its application. Design of a fermentation line. Preparation and sterilization methods of a culture medium and a fermenter. Preparation and calibration of pH and dissolved oxygen probes. Foam control mode. Methods of inoculation and analysis of the microbiological process, including through the use of software. Management of withdrawals. Strategies for maintaining the concentration of dissolved oxygen in aerobic processes.
Prerequisites for admission
basic knowledge of chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry and consolidated knowledge of basic and food microbiology
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons, practical laboratory activities and video recordings of the practical activities
Teaching Resources
Slides and reference books are available on Ariel web platform. Professors are available for questions and further clarifications on appointment.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is organized in a written test that includes open and timed questions on the topics and practical laboratory activities carried out within the teaching and on the evaluation of a technical report.
Any additional information on the assessment methods will be explained during the course. The described evaluation form is considered effective to assess the competences acquired by the student in the field of the general and food microbiology, taking into consideration, in their totality and complexity, all the topics covered in class.
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 48 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Educational website(s)
appointment by phone
via Mangiagalli, 25 (floor IV room 4021)
By e-mail appointment
Office, via Mangiagalli 25, third floor
to be defined via email