Are you a professional in the food industry and do you want to strengthen your expertise and knowledge about the ecology and physiology of food-associated microbes?
This online master's course focusses on the impact of viruses, bacteria and fungi on food quality and safety. Since this online course is part-time, you can combine study and work and enhance your career.
Content of the course
This course aims to provide insight in the ecology and physiology of food-associated spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms, and that of starter and probiotic bacteria. Microbial characteristics are discussed in relation to behaviour in the food chain with a focus on performance in (minimal) processing of foods and food fermentation, and the impact of technologies used for the production of probiotics and (powdered) formulas. Applications in enhancing microbial quality and safety of foods on one hand, and applications to enhance robustness and functionality of fermented probiotic products on the other hand, will be discussed in detail. Ecology in the food chain addresses classical and novel microbial detection and identification methods including whole genome sequencing approaches and their application in practice. Moreover, an online food preservation experiment aims to train skills in experimental design, data generation, data analysis and interpretation, discussion and reporting results.
The master's course consists of online knowledge clips, textual explanations and animations, including exercises with feedback. Furthermore it includes exercises to learn to apply the microbial principles and approaches in practice and a lab simulation case on food preservation including report writing. All information will be provided on Blackboard.
You will learn to
- Utilise and integrate knowledge on the eco-physiology and adaptive stress responses of food-associated spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms.
- Understand the mechanisms of minimal processing and preservation taking into account bottleneck organisms and apply preservation principles in process and product design.
- Understand mechanisms of microbial biofilm formation and resistance to cleaning and disinfection procedures.
- Understand and discuss the eco-physiology of fermented (probiotic) foods.
- Use insights in microbial diversity and survival mechanisms of probiotic bacteria for enhanced product quality and composition.
- Understand diversity, characteristics and functionality of pre- and probiotics.
When you want to learn more about food safety and quality, other courses are interesting for you too! You can deepen your knowledge in a specific career field, without following a complete master's programme. You can register for any combination, but these are our suggestions:
- Advanced Food Microbiology - Tools for Safety Management (strongly recommended)
- Food Toxicology - Toxicity and Risk Assessment of Avoidable Chemicals in Food
- Food Toxicology - Toxicity and Risk Assessment of Unavoidable Chemicals in Food
After completion of two or more courses there is a unique opportunity to apply what you have learned. You can start a capstone project in consultation with a Wageningen expert in the field. It is a tailor-made project, where you will write a short paper about your results and conclusions. During this work you will be coached by the expert.
Level of knowledge
The language of instruction of this course is in English. Admission to the course requires a level of English as defined at the website for Dutch nationals, EU nationals or nationals outside EU/EFTA respectively.
You can complete the course(s) with an exam (not obligatory) or a capstone project. When completed successfully this will be mentioned on your certificate (included in the price).