Microbiology of food spoilage and preservation

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Microbiology of food spoilage and preservation

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Microbiology, Nutrition and Food Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    5
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    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 FB1MB1 Introduction to Food Microbiology
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Co-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    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:
    Lectures 17
    Seminars 1
    Tutorials 2
    Practicals classes and workshops 17
    Guided independent study 63
    Total hours by term 100

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    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%

    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

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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