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Microbiology and food safety


h3. Contact

Coordinator: Herman Spaink

h3. Description
Fundamental science of cooking
Although most people regularly cook, they generally do not consider the science behind it. To understand what happens when we cook food, you need to be familiar with the underlying biological, chemical and physical principles. In this course you will learn the fundamental science of cooking. The course consists of four themes, thought as separate courses: Theme I: Microbiology and food safety, Theme II: food chemistry, Theme III: physics of food and water, Theme IV: Physiology and health.

Theme I: Microbiology and food safety
In Theme I, Microbiology and food safety, the basics of hygiene and food microbiology will be covered. The theory on fermentation and its application in food preservation, flavor enhancement and the production of food ingredients will be covered and the students will be able to do some basic biotechnological calculations on this. The students will apply their knowledge in a beer fermentation practical.

h3. Learning goals

Learning Objectives:

  • Students can describe the properties of various food-related pathogens.

  • Students can explain the effects of microorganisms on food and can describe the applications.

  • Students can explain and distinguish between the different modes of food preservation

  • Students can describe the importance of hygiene in food preparation.

  • Students can analyze and interpret basic fermentation data.

Final Qualifications:

  • Students know and understand the scientific foundations (theories, methods, techniques) of food fermentation and can understand scientific publications in the field.

  • Students can apply various microbiological techniques to answer research questions in food microbiology.

  • Students can document and present results.

h3. Timetable
Period: September – January
Or: February - June

h3. Mode of instruction
Lectures, practicals, tutorials, case study.

h3. Assessment method
The grade is determined based on an exam (50%) and the practical grade (50%). The practical grade is determined by labwork (25%) and reporting (75%).

h3. Blackboard
Blackboard will be used for communication and exchange of documents

h3. Reading list
Course materials will be provided by the teachers.

h3. Registration

Registration with cv and motivation letter via Deadline for registration is October 15th, 2017.

This elective program can host max. 24 students. A basic knowledge in the natural sciences is required; students of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University and students from the laboratory educations of Leiden University of Applied Sciences are welcome to register. The following admission requirements apply: minimal 3rd-year university students or 3rd- or 4th-year HBO students that meet the entry requirements for a minor of their educational programme*.

There will be a selection procedure for students who meet the entry requirements. Therefore, students are required to submit a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter. In addition, the motivation letter should describe an idea for a food science experiment that the student would like to carry out. Selection is done by the teaching staff, in which the following criteria are important: study results, motivation, English skills, and forming a well-balanced, diverse group of students.

*For HLO students: the students should have their propaedeutic (1st year) diploma of the Bachelor of Biology and Medical Laboratory Research or of the Bachelor Chemistry at least 10 days before the start of the minor programme and should meet the regular entry requirements for a minor.
*For Biology students: the students should have their propaedeutic (1st year) diploma of Bachelor of Biology and should meet the regular entry requirements for a minor.