Course code MVI321

MVI321 Fermentation Microbiology

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Hilde Marit Østlie
Teachers: Pernille Margrethe Olsen, Hanne Ida Skaar, Svein Jarle Horn, Zhian Salehian
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in August block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block.
Course frequency: Annually.
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Preferential right:
M-MATVIT will have first priority. Furthermore, academic background is used (Food microbiology corresponding to MVI220, Biochemistry corresponding to KJB200 and General microbiology corresponding to BIO130) and when you showed interest in the course.
Course contents:

Course in the master programme Food Science.

The following topics are covered both theoretically and practically by lectures and laboratory exercises:

1) Systematics for bacteria, yeast and mould that are used in the food industry.

2) Metabolism, stability / lability and bacteriophage problems of lactic acid bacteria.

3) Production, use, control and maintenance of cultures for fermentation purposes, focusing on lactic acid bacteria.

4) Use of fungi and yeasts in fermented foods and industrial processes. 

The UN’s sustainability goals include ensuring sufficient food and safe food. Fermentation is an important method used in food preservation to achieve this.  The course deals with fermentation of traditional raw materials but will provide general knowledge about growth and metabolism of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, moulds and yeasts. This knowledge can be used to ferment "new" non-traditional raw materials. After the Fermentation Microbiology course, students will be able to contribute to the production of sustainable food, increased food production and secure safe food.

Learning outcome:


On completion of the course the student should have:

  • Knowledge about the use of bacteria, yeasts and moulds in different fermented foods, as well as in industrial processes.


On completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • Identify, characterize and maintain microbial cultures for fermentation purposes.
  • Find scientific literature on relevant topics in books and scientific journals.

General competence

On completion of the course the student should:

  • Understand the relationship between growth, metabolism and product properties in fermenteted products.
Learning activities:
Lectures and laboratory exercises with journals. Excursion to a food fermentation company or the biogas laboratory/brewery at NMBU.
Teaching support:

The course responsible and other teachers may be contacted by e-mail.



Chapters from:

Vinderola, G., Ouwehand, A., Salminen, S. and von Wright, A. 2019. Lactic Acid Bacteria-Microbiological and Functional Aspects, 5 th ed., CRC Press, New York.Chapters from:

Deacon, J. 2006. Fungal Biology, 4th edition, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.                                                                       

Doyle, M. P and Beuchat, L. R. 2007. Food Microbiology- Fundamentals and Frontiers. ASM Press. Washington, DC.                                                                                                                                                              

Further syllabus will be announced at the start of the course.

Knowledge of food microbiology corresponding to MVI220, biochemistry corresponding to KJB200 and general microbiology corresponding to BIO130.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Mandatory attendance on the first lecture in the course and mandatory attendance on all laboratory exercises. 

Mandatory attendance on eventual excursion.


Combined assessment: a) Portfolio and b) Written examination. Both a) and b) must be passed to get a total grade. 

Portfolio: Laboratory journals (individually and in groups) count 50 % of the total grade, and have to be approved to qualify for the exam.

Written examination: Final exam (3.5 hours) counts 50 % of the total grade, and must be passed.

Nominal workload:
Lectures: 20 hours. Laboratory exercises: 30 hours. Report writing: 40 hours. Excursion: 5 hours. Self-study: 30 hours. In total 125 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures: 6-8 hours/week. Laboratory exercises: 8 hours the first week, 24 hours the second week and 3 hours the third week.
Some students may be asked to complete a practical test in laboratory skills (and get it approved) to participate in the course. The test will be given during Monday/Tuesday in week 33.
An external examiner evaluates a minimum of 25 selected exam papers. Laboratory journals are assessed by internal examiners.
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Combined Assessment: Letter grades