Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Microbiology of Fermented Food and Beverages

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 1
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsibles
  • Lene Jespersen (2-6f6d4369727267316e7831676e)
  • Pernille Johansen (16-756a77736e71716a6f746d6673786a73456b74746933707a336970)
  • Department of Food Science
Course number: NFOK14019U

Course content

The course will have major focus on the microorganisms involved in the processing of various fermented food and beverages. The course will deal with the taxonomy of important microorganisms especially lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts including both phenotypic characteristics and molecular typing techniques for their identification as well as innovative methodologies to improve fermented foods and beverages.

Methods for isolation including both culture dependent and culture independent techniques will be covered. This will include techniques such as high-throughput sequencing as well as various tools for bioinformatics.

Various fermentation techniques will be introduced covering the use of starter cultures and other fermentation techniques such as back-slopping.

An introduction to various fermented foods and beverages will be given including products such as cheese, bread, wine and beer as well as a number of traditional indigenous fermented foods. Focus will additionally be on microbial interactions including topics such as quorum sensing, bacteriocin formation, etc.


Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to give the students a thorough knowledge on the microbiology behind production of fermented food and beverages and to give the students skills within isolation and identification of microorganisms occurring in these products. Additionally the students will be able to evaluate the functionalities and applications of microbial starter cultures.

The students will gain knowledge within:

  • Microbiology in general and more specifically on the taxonomy of important groups of microorganisms identified from fermented food and beverages
  • Microbial taxonomic systems
  • Molecular techniques for identification and typing
  • Microbial physiology
  • Functionalities of different microorganisms in fermented food and beverages produced world-wide
  • Microbial interactions 


The students will acquire skills within:

  • Development of procedures and plans for isolation and identification of the predominant microorganisms in fermented food and beverages
  • Understanding at the molecular level the behaviour and interaction between various groups of microorganisms
  • Understanding the measures required to ensure optimal product quality
  • Identification of the important parameters leading to optimal product quality and food safety
  • Applying food fermentation to develop innovative food products


The students will acquire competences within:

  • Isolation of microorganisms from different types of fermented food and beverages
  • Evaluation of the composition of the microbiota of fermented food and beverages
  • Identification of the predominant microorganisms by both phenotypic and genotypic methods
  • Description of presumed functionalities of microorganisms in fermented food or beverages

Recommended prerequisites

Qualifications corresponding to course NFOB14028 Fødevaremikrobiologi.

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MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health
MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Sustainable Development in Agriculture (Agris Mundus)


Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


1 block


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Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, theoretical and laboratory practicals. The lectures will introduce issues of importance for the understanding of microbial behaviour during production of fermented food and beverages. The theoretical and laboratory practicals will give the students practice on how to identify various microorganisms from fermented food and beverages including skills within various molecular techniques. Knowledge on food innovation will be obtained through theoretical exercises.


No limitation




See Absalon for specific course literature.


Category Hours
Lectures 27
Theory exercises 21
Practical exercises 41
Exam 1
Preparation 116
English 206


Type of assessment

Oral examination, 20 min
The students will hand in a report based on a theoretical topic and experimental results obtained during the practicals. At the time of the oral examination, one question is drawn, and the examination proceeds without preparation time. In due time before the exam the questions will be given to the students. At the exam the oral presentation of the report will account for 25% of the grade. The questions and the remaining curriculum will account for 75% of the grade.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

Cf. Learning Outcome.

Censorship form

External censorship
Several internal examiners and one external examiner


The re-exam is same as ordinary exam. The student should hand in the report no later than two weeks before the re-exam. Modification of the report before the re-exam is accepted.

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