FB2MF1-Microbiology of food spoilage and preservation

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: BI1P11 Introductory Microbiology or FB1MB1 Introduction to Food Microbiology or BI1S1 Introductory Microbiology
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Kimon-Andreas Karatzas

Email: k.karatzas@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module seeks to provide students with an understanding of the sources of microbial contamination of food and the factors that determine which types of microbes grow and cause spoilage in foods during storage. The basis of the different preservation methods that prevent or retard microbial growth will be examined.

Aims:
The module will examine how environmental factors such as temperature, pH and water activity affect the growth and survival of bacteria, yeasts and moulds, and how this relates to the ecology of microbial food spoilage and the technologies used in food preservation and manufacture.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Describe the microbiology of primary food sources and explain how this is determined by the sources of microbial contamination, food composition and storage conditions.
2. Describe the general characteristics of moulds and understand their importance in food spoilage, food fermentations and mycotoxin production.
3. Select and perform appropriate methods for assessing the microbial flora of foods.
4. Explain the effects of environmental factors on microbial growth and food spoilage (Temperature, pH value, water activity, weak organic acids, permitted preservatives, storage conditions, atmosphere)
5. Illustrate and explain how the above factors are used in food preservation by high temperatures, low temperatures, dehydration, antimicrobial chemical preservatives, fermentation, and novel methods such as high pressure.
6. Work as part of a team to investigate food spoilage topics and present results in a clear and concise manner.

Additional outcomes:
The microbiology of primary food sources; characteristics of moulds; methods for assessing the microbial flora of foods; effects of environmental factors on microbial growth and food spoilage

Outline content:
The microbiology of primary food sources; characteristics of moulds; methods for assessing the microbial flora of foods; effects of environmental factors on microbial growth and food spoilage

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures; Laboratory classes; Revision tests/tutorials

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 17
Seminars 1
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 17
Guided independent study 63
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 14
Oral assessment and presentation 8
Class test administered by School 8

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework: Relative percentage: 30%
Laboratory reports (8%) - First written practical report (all) due Week 9; Second written practical report (by groups) due in either Week 11, 13 or 15;
Lab practical book (6%) - to be submitted for assessment in Week 15;
Modular tests (8%) - in Week 14;
Group work on microbiological food spoilage (8%) - Group Presentation in Week 13.

Submission Deadline(s):
First written practical report (all) due Week 9
Second written practical report weeks 11; 13 or 15
Lab practical book Week 15
Modular tests Week 14
Group work on microbiological food spoilage Week 13

Examinations: 70%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • 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 for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1 hour

    Requirements for a pass:
    overall mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Written examination during the University re-examination period in August

    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: 19 April 2017

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