Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: CINZIA LUCIA RANDAZZO

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide theoretical and practical skills on fermentation processes related to the use of microorganisms; to the development and formulation of starter cultures to be used for the standardization of the food fermentation process. 

At the end of the course the student should develop Knowledge and understanding, making judgments, comunication as follow: 

 Knowledge and understanding - (Dublin 1)

At the end of the course the student must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main contents of the course.

How is it verified? Oral exam.

Applying knowledge and understanding - (Dublin 2)

At the end of the course the student must demonstrate that he is able to design a fermented food and implement the resolution of any problems that may stop fermentation. It will also have to be able to evaluate and interpret experimental and literature data.

 How is it verified? Oral exam.

Autonomy of judgment - (Dublin 3) 

At the end of the course the student must show to be able to formulate interpretative judgments based on the acquired knowledge, about research activities extrapolated from scientific publications.

How is it verified? Oral exam after illustration of a scientific publication

Communication skills - (Dublin 4) 

At the end of the course the student must demonstrate that he is able to choose and use the technical terminology appropriately, adapting his oral and written forms of communication to the required level and specific purposes; similarly, the student must demonstrate that he is able to analyze and synthesize a scientific publication and that he is able to present a paper to his/her colleagues.

How is it verified? Production of a short paper in ppt format that summarizes a scientific article.

Lifelong learning skills - (Dublin 5)

At the end of the course the student must be able to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date, grasping the fundamental and relevant aspects of the course for their professional context, in a legally, ethically and scientifically correct framework.

How is it verified? In part, with an oral interview.

Course Structure

The course includes 35 frontal hours (or remote) and 42 hours of laboratory didactic visits. In addition, group work is planned which will be presented in ppt format.

The exam modality is ORAL (O).

The evaluation elements will concern: the relevance of the answers to the questions posed, the quality of the contents, the ability to connect with other topics covered by the program, the ability to report examples, the technical language properties and the student's overall expressive ability during the presentation of group work activities.

Lectures and exercises (classroom and company), also on line

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline. It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Inclusion - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs), in the persons of professors Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.


Detailed Course Content

Main fermentations. Role of microrganims in the production of fermented foods. Lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and moulds for food application. Starter cultures. Selection criteria for starters; factors influencing the  growth of microrganims in food. Primary and secondary metabolities of fermentation. Probiotics, prebiotics and functional foods. Main fermented foods: fermented milk, cheeses, sourdough, cured meats, fermented olives, beer, wine.Student's ppt presentation. Practical course. 

Textbook Information

Microbiology and technology of fermented foods. Hutkins ed. 2006.  Blackwell Publishing.  ISBN-13: 978-0-8138-0018-9; ISBN-10: 0-8138-0018-8/2006.  

“Probiotics and Prebiotics: Scientific Aspects”. Gerald W. Tannock.  ISBN 978-1-904455-01-1. 

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introduction to the course. Introduction to the subject; definition of food. Fermentation: definition and factors that condition fermentationLecture notes by the teacher. Books  1, 2, 3
2Microbiological physiology: parameters that influence microbial development in the food matrix. Properties of microorganisms useful for fermentation processes; microbial metabolism: primary and secondary metabolites;Lecture notes by the teacher.Book 1
3Food-related microorganisms: pro tecnologi; altering and pathogenic. main alterations related to microbial development and microbial metabolism. SSO microorganisms; quality indicators; safety indicators. Lecture notes by the teacher. Books 1, 3
4Main fermented foods in the world: Tofu, Tempeh, Natto, Shoyu, Miso. Classification of fermented foods in relation to to microorganisms. Methods of identification and characterization of microorganisms in fermented foods. Lecture notes by the teacher.Book 1
5Natural and drived  fermentation: main differences. Traditionally fermented foods: advantages and disadvantages. Safety aspects of traditional fermented foods; pathogens associated with the consumption of traditionally fermented foodsLecture notes by the teacher. Book 1
6The control of fermentation through the use of starter cultures. Definition of starter culture; requirements for the selection of starters; classification of starter cultures: natural cultures (milk graft, whey graft, sourdough), selectedLecture notes by the teacher. Books 1, 4
7Industrial production of starters. Main microorganisms used as starters. Lactic bacteria: definition, main characteristics; biotechnological properties.Lecture notes by the teacher.Books 1, 2
8Genera: Enterococcus; Streptococcus, Lactococcus, Pediococcus, Leuconostoc, Weissella; Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria. Lecture notes by the teacher.
9Micrococcaceae: main characteristics and their use Staphylococcus genus and propionic bacteria. Biotechnological characteristics of propionic bacterialLecture notes by the teacher.
10Bifidobacterium species: main characteristics and their use. Taxonomy of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Lecture notes by the teacher.
11Anaerobic respiration. Catabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. Proteolytic activity and production of aromatic compoundsLecture notes by the teacher.
12Fermented milk: definition; Main fermented milks: Koumiss, Kefir, Lben, yougurt. Starter for fermented milks: characteristics and their preparationLecture notes by the teacher. Books  1, 2, 3
13Cheese: definition and main characteristics. Differences in the microbiota of traditional and industrial cheeses. Starter cultures for cheeses: thermophilic and mesophilic cultures. Serum ferment for Grama Padano and Parmesan cheese; reinforced cultures.Lecture notes by the teacher.Books 1, 4
14Proteolytic activity associated with starters. The selected starters; role associated with starters in cheeses.Lecture notes by the teacher. Books 1, 4
15Fermented meats: definition and origin of fermented meat.  Natural and controlled  fermentation of fermented meats; starter cultures used in the production of fermented meats.Lecture notes by the teacher. Book 1
16Proteolytic activity of fermented sausages. LAB activity of technological interest in fermented meat. The molds and yeasts used in the production of fermented meats. Lecture notes by the teacher.Book 1
17Table olives: fermentation of table olives (Seville, Californian and Greek system). Main microorganisms involved in the fermentation of table olives. The microbiota of table olives. Bakery products; wine and  beer. principal fermentative characteristics. Lecture notes by the teacher.Book 1
18Student presentations on selected topic. Research of bibliographic material

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The student will have to answer in a complete, coherent and exhaustive way to topics requested during the exam.

Project evaluation; group ppt presentation: each group will present the ppt on a specific topic selected by the gropu. Organizational and exhibition capacity of the work carried out will be evaluated.  

Oral exam: The oral exam is individual and inclued the evaluation of the capacity of reasoning and of connection between the acquired knowledge. laboratory skills will be also evaluated . 

Evaluation of learning ability can also be carried out electronically, only if the conditions require it.

The vote follows the scheme below:


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Important shortcomings. Significant inaccuracies.

Ability to analyze and synthesize: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize

Use of references: Completely inappropriate


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Medium level. Presence of some imperfections

Analysis and synthesis skills: Sufficient skills

Use of references: appropriate


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Good knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: Has good analysis and synthesis skills. The arguments are expressed consistently

Use of references: Use standard references


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Knowledge more than good

Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis

Use of references: Has explored the topics


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Excellent knowledge

Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis.

Use of references: Important insights.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The most frequent questions will concern the use and importance of starter cultures in the main food fermentations; functional foods; natural and guided fermentations; the criteria for choosing starter cultures