Food Preservation

This course in the Laboratory of Food Microbiology's distance learning programme is meant to provide good awareness of the concepts and terminology underlying specific aspects of food safety management.

It provides an extensive introduction into the needs and mechanisms of preservation. It covers: preservation microbiology and the effects of physical and chemical changes, enzymatic activity on preservation, (integrated) preservation methods and hurdle technology, input of microbiological parameters and the organisms’ distribution and state, preservation process, heat treatment and inactivation parameters, sterilization and pasteurization. Non-thermal inactivation process, the effects of product environment and development, and consumer behaviour and expectations are also elaborated upon. Also bottleneck organisms during processing and formulation are highlighted.

Who is this e-learning course for?

The table below shows to whom the course should be of interest to and what the level of relevance for each group might be. However, anyone with average technical knowledge on food technology and/ or -microbiology and interested in food preservation would find it useful.


Learning objectives

After completing this course the participant will be able to:

  • Understand the needs for preservation and mechanisms of preservation;
  • Understand the importance of the processing and formulation bottleneck organisms;
  • Apply preservation principles in product design;
  • Calculate the efficacy of a heat process and interpret its key parameters (i.e. D-, z- , and F0 - values);
  • Enhance the effectiveness of preservation methods and the efficiency of production.

Entry requirements


There are no official entry requirements. However, we expect that participants have a BSc degree in Food Science, Food Processing or Food Technology, or equivalent professional experience.

Level and duration

The general level of this course is rated at two (2- intermediate) and in terms of mathematical skills required, it is rated at three (3) on a scale of 1 (basic) to 3 (advanced). The estimated time required to complete this course is eighteen hours or less, depending on prior relevant knowledge. The participant is expected to be familiar with the following topics (partly introduced in the module Food Related hazards):

    • The differences and relations between spores and vegetative cells, and between pathogens and spoilage organisms;

    • Yeasts, bacteria and fungi;

    • Water activity (aw), acidity (pH), characteristics of acids (pKa).

    Teaching method

    The course consists of background materials and multiple-choice assignments. The assignments concern food products and their relevant micro-flora. The assignment results are graded; the participant can review his/her grades and compare with averages. For easy reading and archiving purposes, the theory is available in pdf format as well.

    Relevance for target group Food Preservation

    Relevance for target group Food Preservation

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