The main educational goals of the course are:
1) the acquisition of knowledge regarding the concepts of quality and microbiological safety of foods
2) the acquisition of basic and advanced methodologies for the selection, identification and exploitation of microorganisms of relevance in the agri-food sector
3) the acquisition of knowledge of the reference legislation for the microbiological safety of foods
4) the acquisition of logical means and knowledge for interrogating scientific databases, and for drafting and executing experimental protocols.
The expected learning outcomes are the acquisition of theoretical knowledge in the field of microbiological food quality and safety, of practical skills for the design and execution of laboratory experiments, and of critical ability to search and evaluate scientific literature data.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course will illustrate the methods for the detection and quantification of the microorganisms found in food, including any pathogens in relation to the products characteristics and limitations arising from the regulations. In laboratory exercises students will perform some of the most common microbiological analysis of foods in order to determine the microbial load and the suitability or not for human consumption.

Topics covered:
- Description of the main foodborne micro-organisms
- Control of microorganisms in foods
- Food safety: legislative aspects
- Sampling techniques
- Microbiological analysis of foods
- Cultivation methods and coltural media for microbiological analysis of foods: sample preparation, plating techniques, counting techniques, isolation of food microorganisms
- Alternative methods for the microbiological analysis of food
- Research of the main foodborne micro-organisms
- Identification of microorganisms on phenotypic and molecular basis
- Molecular techniques for the identification of microorganisms: ribosomal DNA analysis, Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA), Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD), sequencing
- Analysis of complex microbial communities through metagenomic and culture-independent techniques: Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
- Proteomics techniques applied to the analysis of food quality and safety
- Bacteriophages as biocontrol agents and applications in food microbiology
- Resistance to antibiotics and implications on the quality and safety of fermented foods
- Critical reading of scientific articles

Core Documentation

MICROBIOLOGIA ALIMENTARE APPLICATA. L. Cocolin, M. Gobbetti, E. Neviani. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (2022)
MICROBIOLOGIA DEGLI ALIMENTI. A. Galli Volonterio. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (2005)
MICROBIOLOGIA DEI PRODOTTI ALIMENTARI. G. A. Farris, M. Gobbetti, E. Neviani, M. Vincenzini. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (2012)
Slides from the lessons
Specific scientific articles

Type of delivery of the course

Attendance in this course is not mandatory. The course is structured in 38 hours of taught classes and 18 hours of laboratory exercises, for a total of 48 hours of teaching (6 CFU). Lessons are given at a frequency of twice a week in classroom through the presentation of powerpoint slides.

Type of evaluation

The aim of final examination is to verify the learning impact as well as the reasoning skills acquired by the student. The final grade is expressed in thirtieths (minimum grade 18/30, maximum grade 30/30 cum laude) The evaluation consists of an oral test. The exam allows to verify the achievement of the objectives in terms of acquired knowledge and competences as well as communication skills. The correct use of language, the public speaking ability and the critical capacity in addressing food microbiological quality and safety issues are also evaluated.