VLAG Course: Food Fermentation

The course Food fermentation covers a wide range of microbial and enzymatic processes involved in food and ingredient fermentation to achieve desirable characteristics such as prolonged shelf-life, improved safety, attractive flavour, nutritional enrichment and promotion of health. Major fermentation micro-organisms include lactic acid bacteria, moulds and yeasts. Industrial control of fermentation processes requires up-to-date knowledge of the physiology, metabolism and genetic properties of the fermenting microbes. Equally important is the knowledge of their functionality in relation to their desired impact on food quality, safety and shelf-life.

Course Contents

The course offers lectures by internationally well-established speakers who introduce the subjects and discuss the conceptual background and the tools employed to study fermentation and related subjects. The programme offers ample opportunity for discussions. The participating PhD students will present their own work in afternoon poster sessions.After an introduction into topic of single and mixed strain fermentation processes, the course deals with the specific aspects of (1) functionality related to health, flavour and ingredients, (2) models and control of fermentation and quality, and (3) omics in particular the relevance of (meta)genomics and metabolomics in fermentation innovation and control.


Persons interested in this advanced course should have a graduate level in life sciences or a comparable background. The course may attract microbiologists, biochemists, process engineers, food and nutrition scientists and biotechnologists. All participants are requested to present their own work by means of a poster and short oral presentation.

Aim of the course

The aim of this course is to develop and actualize the knowledge about food fermentation with a focus on the newest scientific insights regarding functionality, control and omics.