FBMM1-Food Microbiology

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: FBMM2A Food Microbiology and Safety A and FBMM2B Food Microbiology and Safety B
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Gemma Walton

Email: g.e.walton@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module introduces food microbiology and includes the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and prions and their relevance to food science. Over the course of the module the importance of microorganisms to food production, food spoilage and foodborne illness will be covered. In addition, the role of the gut bacteria on human health will be discussed and strategies to manipulate this intestinal community will be explored. This module will provide both practical and theoretical training, by combining practical classes and lectures.

The module aims to deliver basic information on the nature of microorganisms and food-borne diseases and their significance to the food industry and society. Furthermore this module aims to provide details of how microbes are used within the food industry. Practical experience of working with microorganisms in the laboratory will be given. The module will emphasise the ecologies of the microbes and relate the ecologies to approaches used in the control of food spoilage and of food borne illness.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At successful completion of the module the student should be able to:
•describe the basic properties of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and prions
•identify an organism as a bacterium, yeast or mould in the laboratory
•select appropriate method(s) for assessing the microbial flora of foods
•evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of microorganisms to the food industry.
•evaluate the results of microbiological tests in relation to the nature of the food and its previous history
•describe the effects of environmental conditions on microbial growth and food spoilage
•describe methods of food preservation
•describe measures for the control of food poisoning bacteria

Additional outcomes:
Students will also develop skills in: making accurate observations; correctly recording procedures; interpreting observations and data; effective verbal and written communication skills; working in a team.

Outline content:
The module will include the following components:
•Properties of biological systems; morphology, structure and function of bacteria, fungi and viruses; cultivation of microorganisms.
•Factors affecting microbial growth; microbial metabolism; effects of environment on microbial growth.
•Assessment of microbial floras of foods; direct and indirect methods; total and viable counts; biomass and activity determinations; selection of appropriate method.
•Ecology of food-borne diseases; food intoxications; food infections.
•Microorganisms and food fermentation.
•Microbiology of food spoilage; implicated microorganisms; prevention and control of food spoilage; hygiene, good manufacturing practice; food preservation; predictive microbiology.
•Ecology of gut bacteria and implications for human health and disease; application of pre- and probiotics to manipulate this indigenous population.

Global context:
The module provides core scientific understanding of fundamental issues of food microbiology and is applicable everywhere.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of a combination of lectures and supporting laboratory classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 16
Guided independent study 52 10
Total hours by term 90.00 10.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 30
Report 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1 hour 30 minutes

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment schedule:

• Autumn Term Laboratory Notebook: the practical notebook consists of questions designed to promote inquiry-based learning and evaluation of class results. Practical answers to be submitted from weeks 6-11

• Assignment: submission at the end of week 13


Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall in all assessed work

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


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