FB1MB1-Introduction to Food Microbiology

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Dimitris Charalampopoulos

Email: d.charalampopoulos@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The module will introduce the students to food microbiology focusing primarily on food fermentations (dairy and non dairy) and linking it to microbial metabolism. The lectures will be supported by a range of practicals aiming to develop good basic microbiological skills.

To provide knowledge and practical skills on the use of microbes for the production of foods and food ingredients.

Assessable learning outcomes:
• Provide an overview of the types of microorganisms used for the production of fermented foods and food ingredients.
• Describe the main characteristics of lactic acid bacteria and yeast and the main metabolic pathways taking place.
• Make basic calculations for estimating the yield and productivity of fermentation processes.
• Describe the basic processing schemes used for the production of various fermented foods (dairy, meat, cereal based, vegetable based).
• Work with bacterial and yeast cultures and carry out standard microbiological techniques aseptically.
• Develop understanding of statistical analysis of data.

Additional outcomes:

The students will gain experience in laboratory work, report writing and working in groups. The module will built on the knowledge and skills that the students have acquired from the ‘Introductory Microbiology’ module and prepare the students for more advanced module in microbiology, i.e., ‘Microbiology of Food Spoilage and Preservation’ , and ‘Microbiological Hazards in Foods’. 

Outline content:
Initial lectures will cover the metabolic pathways taking place during food fermentation, focusing mainly on lactic acid and ethanol fermentation; then, the main characteristics of lactic acid bacteria and yeast will be reviewed as well as that process for the production of starter cultures. Subsequent lectures will focus on the process used for the production of various fermented foods (dairy, meat-based and vegetable based). Finally, the application of fermentation for the production of food ingredients will also be covered. An introduction to statistical analysis will also be provided which will be supported by a workshop.

The practicals, which will run in parallel to the lectures, will aim to strengthen the laboratory skills of the students in terms of basic microbiological techniques (aseptic techniques, plate streaking, microscopy, etc) and provide illustrations of key points from the lectures in relation to food fermentations.

Global context:
The utilisation of microbes for the production of foods as well as chemicals will be discussed.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

16 hours lectures and 26 hours in total involving practical classes and workshop.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 17
Seminars 2
Tutorials 4
Practicals classes and workshops 17
Guided independent study 60
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Report 20
Portfolio 10
Class test administered by School 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1 hour

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Coursework dates:
(Reports) Lab reports, weeks: 7, 9
(Portfolio) Lab books: week 11
Test: week 11

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:
overall mark of 40%

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements are in accordance with University policy. Reassessment of the written examination is held during the University administered re-examination period in August. Failed coursework may be re-assessed by an alternative assignment before or during the August re-examination period.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 12 December 2018


Things to do now