FHM-35806 Advanced Food Microbiology


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. T Abee
Lecturer(s)WC Hazeleger
prof. dr. T Abee
dr. RA Notebaart
dr. ir. R Hartemink
dr. ir. MW Reij
dr. ir. MW den Besten
dr. ir. EG Zoetendal
prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
prof. dr. EJ Smid
ir. J Wolkers-Rooijackers
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
prof. dr. T Abee

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

FHM-20306 Food Microbiology.

Continuation courses:

FHM-30306 Food Safety Risk Assessment or thesis FHM.


This course aims to provide insight in the ecology and physiology of food and Gastro-intestinal-tract microbes. Ecology and physiology of food-associated spoilage microbes and food-borne human pathogens is discussed in relation to behaviour in the food chain with a focus on performance in food processing environments. Microbial stress response in (minimal) processing is discussed including mechanisms of action of (novel) processing strategies, their cellular targets and corresponding microbial defence systems that support survival and thus could affect efficacies of processing technologies and preservation regimes. Ecology in the food chain addresses classical and novel microbial detection and identification methods including whole genome sequencing approaches and their application in practice. Design and implementation of sampling strategies and plans are discussed and linked to other tools for the production of safe foods including food safety objectives (FSOs) and risk analysis. The composition and putative functions of prebiotics and probiotics is explained, together with an overview of the ecology and functionality of GI tract microbiota. In addition, during the practical course experience with a range of techniques will be obtained to collect microbiological data from (model) foods and faecal samples, to perform data analysis, to present results, and to prepare reports on the food microbiology experiments. 

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- discuss the contribution of viruses, bacteria and fungi to food-borne diseases;
- illustrate novel minimal processing methods used in food industries;
- compare effects of preservation factors and techniques on microbes;
- explain survival strategies employed by bacteria;
- dissect key parameters in biofilm development;
- select and categorize methods for detection and identification of microbes for assessment of food quality and safety;
- design microbiological sampling plans to control the microbiological quality and safety of food products;
- explain FSOs and risk analysis for the production of safe Foods;
- explain the ecology and functionality of GI tract microbes, and effects of pre- and probiotics; 
- select and apply methods to characterize the microbial composition and activity in the GI tract and  faecal samples; 
- collect microbiological data, perform data analysis, present results, and prepare reports on microbiology experiments.


The activities consist of:
- formal lectures;
- laboratory classes. The practical course will be held in ML2 labs and corresponding safety regulations prevail. 
- written and oral presentations.


Final grading is based on a written exam (70%) with open questions and the practicals (30%). For both elements a minimum pass mark of 5.5 is required.

The grade for the practicals is valid for 3 years.


All materials provided in Brightspace.

Verplicht voor: MFSFood SafetyMScA: Spec. A - Applied Food Safety3WD
Keuze voor: MBTBiotechnologyMScB: Spec. B - Food Biotechnology3WD
MFTFood TechnologyMScC: Spec. C - Food Fermentation and Biotechnology3WD
MFSFood SafetyMScC: Spec. C - Supply Chain Safety3WD