D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 9
Hours 81
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL-IA 3A491


Basic knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology



Development of the course

The course consists of theoretical lectures (6 ECTS, 54 hours) and other activities, including theoretical-practical activities, carried out by students (individually or in small groups), seminars and guided visits at local and national food plants and factories (3 ECTS, 27 hours, in all). An e-learning course is available in parallel with the lectures; this includes: the educational material organized in learning units; guidelines and reports on the theoretical-practical activities; self-evaluation tests; interactive forum and other tools; details on guided visits.


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Full knowledge and comprehension of: (a) the biotechnological aspects dealing with the use of microorganisms and their enzymes for the manufacturing and storage of food products; (b) biochemical pathways and effects of the main fermentation processes; (c) the mechanisms involved in the emergence of food-borne diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms or their  toxins.


Applying knowledge and understanding:


Capability of: (a) correlating changes in the process parameters with changes in the food quality and safety; (b) planning the most appropriate analyses for the evaluation of food quality and hygiene parameters; (c) using selected microorganisms and their enzymes for both the bio-catalysis of food-manufacturing processes and the control of the desired or undesired biochemical processes; (d) planning and managing strategies for the optimization of biotechnological process for the production of food and beverages; (e) integrating physical, chemical, biochemical, and microbiological parameters data; (f) evaluating the potentiality of innovative biotechnologies in different food processes.



Making judgements: capability of identifying the key information needed to improve the efficiency of processes aimed at improving the quality of food products.

Communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the agro-food supply chain (engineers, biologists, chemists, nutritionists, etc.).


  • The role of microorganisms in food products. The main abiotic factors affecting the growth of food-borne microorganisms; microbial competition and physico-chemical methods used in processing of foods to improve food stability (1 ECTS).
  • Pro-technological microorganisms: lactic acid bacteria, propionic bacteria, acetic bacteria, coagulase-negative bacteria; eumycetes (yeasts and moulds) (1 ECTS)
  • Starter cultures (1 ECTS)
  • Cheese-making: milk; acid and enzymatic milk coagulation; cheese definition and classification; cheese-making process and role of the main microbial groups involved; spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms potentially occurring in cheese (1 ECTS)
  • Fermented milks- yoghurt: classification and  manufacturing processes; role and properties of the starter cultures used for the production of yoghurt;  health claims (0.5 ECTS)
  • Bread-making: classification, physico-chemical, rheological and fermentative properties of cereal flours; leavened baked goods: classification; biological leavening agents: classification, properties, propagation, and mode of action; bread-making process and role of the main microbial groups involved; spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms potentially occurring in baked goods (1 ECTS).
  • Fermented sausages:  physico-chemical properties of raw meat; manufacturing process of fresh and fermented sausages: main steps and role of the microorganisms involved; spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms potentially occurring in fresh and fermented sausages (0.5 ECTS)
  • Mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity and host defense: food infection, intoxication, toxi-mediated infection; definition of pathogenic, virulence, infectious and lethal dose; toxigenic microorganisms: exo- and endotoxins; human microbiota; non-specific and specific defense mechanisms (1 ECTS)
  • Hygine indicator microorganisms. Pathogenic bacteria and viruses causing food infections, ;  intoxications, toxi-mediated infections (1 ECTS)
  • Micotoxins and foodborne diseases caused by prions, biogenic amines and chemical contaminants (0.5 ECTS)
  • Microbiological analyses of food, working surfaces and air (0.5 ECTS)


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on three of the subjects listed in the teaching program. During the course, self-evaluation tests (e-learning mode) are available.


Learning evaluation criteria

In order to pass the exam, the student will have to demonstrate: overall understanding of the subjects and appropriate usage of technical terminology. In order to obtain the best evaluation, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subjects; (b) fluency in the usage of the technical lexicon; (c) ability to solve simple problems dealing with the manufacturing and storage of fermented foods.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the exam will lead to marks ranging from 18 to 30 with honors.


Final mark allocation criteria

The final mark will be awarded on the basis of the answers to three principal questions (quantified 0 to 10 thirtieths, each) about three topics randomly selected by the teacher among those listed in the teaching program. To pass the exam, the student will have to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of each of the three discussed topics.


Recommended reading
  • Modern Food Microbiology. James M. Jay; Martin J. Loessner; David A. Golden. Springer (last edition)
  • Food Microbiology. Martin R Adams and Maurice O Moss. RSC Publishing


All other educational material is available on the e-learning web platform.



  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427