Module Overview

Food Microbiology

This module will aim to introduce the students to the factors affecting the growth of microorganisms in foodstuffs. Identification of common spoilage organisms and the importance of food sustainability. Introduction to notable food borne pathogens and the prevention & control of their growth. The module will also aim to introduce the students to the fundamental concepts and applications of molecular microbiology in foods/beverages and more detailed applications in the food industry. Food preservation methodologies including the development of novel methods of preservation/processing to prevent microbial growth  and reduce food spoilage and waste will also be examined. The students will be introduced to the principles underlying the growth, activities and consequences of microorganisms in foods and their role in sustainability. The isolation and identification of food-related organisms both spoilage and pathogenic using conventional and molecular biology methods will enable the students the opportunity to acquire laboratory skills in food microbiological analysis.





Module Code

TFMB 2001

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Indicative syllabus covered in the module and / or in its discrete elements

Microbial Ecology of Foods: intrinsic and extrinsic food characteristics which affect microbial growth.

Microbiology of Food Products: microflora, effects of pasteurisation, spoilage, microbiological standards & legislation

Types of Microorganisms associated with foodstuffs and their significance: foodborne pathogens, spoilage microorganisms, fermentation microorganisms & yeast genetics.

Introduction to principles of sampling as applied to food microbiology; attribute sampling plans.

Introduction to Molecular microbiology: DNA extraction/isolation, primer design & PCR. Applications of molecular methods in microbial analysis.

Anti-microbial aspects of Food Preservation Methods e.g. high temperatures (pasteurisation and commercial sterilisation, D-value), Irradiation; low temperatures; dehydration, chemical preservatives, natural antimicrobials in foods.

Novel food preservation methods: Cold atmospheric pressure plasma. Pulsed Electric Field technology, HPP


Laboratory Practicals:

Quantitative determination of microbial populations in foodstuffs-Bacteriological examination of milk and milk products & RTE foods.

Isolation and identification of some common food-borne pathogens  e.g. Salmonella, E.coli, S.aureus using conventional methods.

Examination of the effects of controlled storage, heat and other food preservation methods on microbial growth.

Molecular identification of Campylobacter sp. & Listeria monocytogenes using rapid detection kits i.e. PCR.

Lectures with the use of audio-visual aids such as video clips.

Parallel Practical sessions to complement lecture material.

Discussions surrounding relevant  topical issues such as  media stories, microbial standards, legislation governing food standards and regulatory affairs will be

Demonstrations and self-learning

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination70
Other Assessment(s)30