In recent years, the number of students pursuing food microbiology and safety programs has increased significantly. The food microbiology course involves researching microorganisms that inhabit, grow, or contaminate food. food safety is also an integral component of food microbiology. There are a plethora of food microbiology and food safety programs that students can pursue to develop a career in relevant fields. This article sheds light on the significance of food microbiology and safety programs and what is covered in such programs.
Significance of Food Microbiology and Safety
Students pursuing food microbiology and safety programs use the latest technology in immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology. Different microbes, such as molds, yeasts, and bacteria, make different food items. Bacteria beneficial for human health are used in the fermentation, processing, and storing of many different food products and beverages. And spoilage microorganisms damage or contaminate farm produce and food products, costing millions a year. The study of food microbiology course makes it possible for individuals to understand the factors affecting the growth of microorganisms in the food systems and also discover the means to regulate them.
What do the food microbiology and safety course covers?
- Microorganism growth and food spoilage
The first important concept that student studies are the factors contributing to microorganism growth and food spoilage. Many different intrinsic factors control microbial growth, such as nutrients, pH, physical structure, and moisture content of food, and extrinsic factors like temperature, gases, humidity, etc. Apart from factors, students also learn how microbial growth or contamination in foods can cause visible changes.
- Microbiological testing of food
While pursuing food microbiology and safety courses, students are also equipped with practical knowledge. They learn different techniques or strategies to test different food products. The two main strategies used for food testing are determining the microbiological quality (determination of the total viable count of the food sample) and determining food safety (analyzing and testing food items for pathogens, yeasts, molds, etc).
- Controlling microbial growth and food preservation
Not only do students learn about different factors affecting the growth of microorganisms in food, but also how to control microbial growth and preserve food when studying food microbiology and safety courses. Many methods that can be used to control microbial growth in food products are physical techniques like filtration and centrifugation, thermal treatments like refrigeration and freezing, and more.
- Microorganisms used for producing food
It is while studying food microbiology and safety courses that students come to know about the microorganisms that are being used widely for producing different food items. For instance, microorganisms are used to produce around 2,000 distinct varieties of cheese across the world.
Food microbiology provides compelling tools and methods beneficial for human health and nutrition. By enrolling in the food microbiology course, one can learn and understand all aspects of food microbiology and safety. Also, students can learn the principles of food sciences.