MVI321 Fermentation Microbiology

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Hilde Marit Østlie

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk, norsk

Limits of class size:28

Course frequency:Annually.

Nominal workload:Lectures: 20 hours. Laboratory exercises: 30 hours. Report writing: 40 hours. Excursion: 5 hours. Self-study: 30 hours. In total 125 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in August block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block.

About this course

Course in the master programme Food Science.

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

1) Systematics for lactic acid 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 lactic acid 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.
  • The student is able to perform the preparations, techniques and analyses employed in the course.
  • The student masters the instruments and equipment used in the course.

General competence

On completion of the course the student should:

  • Understand the relationship between growth, metabolism and product properties in fermenteted products.
  • Lectures and laboratory exercises with journals. Excursion to a food fermentation company or the biogas laboratory/brewery at NMBU.
  • The course responsible and other teachers may be contacted by e-mail.


  • Knowledge of food microbiology corresponding to MVI220, biochemistry corresponding to KJB200 and general microbiology corresponding to BIO130.
  • Combined assessment: a) Portfolio and b) Written examination. Both a) and b) must be passed to get a total grade.

    Portfolio: Laboratory journals (written in groups or individually) 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.

  • An external examiner evaluates a minimum of 25 selected exam papers. Laboratory journals are assessed by internal examiners.
    1. Attendance at the first lecture, compulsory.
    2. Attendance laboratory exercises, compulsory.
    3. Submission of laboratory reports, compulsory.
    4. Participation on a possible excursion, compulsory.

    All mandatory activities have to be accomplished and approved to be admitted to examination.

    The validity of the compulsory activities can be extended.

  • 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.
  • Lectures: 6-8 hours/week. Laboratory exercises: 8 hours the first week, 24 hours the second week and 3 hours the third week.
  • Special requirements in Science