Current Level

 Food Micro

Previous Level

 BioWeb Home
 Food Micro

Food and Industrial Microbiology

Food microbiology can be broken down into three areas.  First is food production.  Many foods and beverages, such as cheese, yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, beer and wine, are produced using microbes.  As most people are aware, microbes can also cause food spoilage.  (Have you checked your refrigerator lately?)  This area of food microbiology is of major economic importance as it is estimated that billions of dollars of foods are lost due to spoilage each year in the U.S. alone.  The third area of food microbiology concerns the detection and prevention of food-borne disease.  Some of the organisms commonly involved in food-borne outbreaks include Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria and Salmonella.

Industrial microbiology is often linked with food microbiology as food production using microbes is part of the food industry.  Also some food additives and food supplements, such as citric acid and amino acids, respectively, are produced industrially using microbes.  Microbes are also used to produce important products not related to food.  Each year over 100,000 tons of antibiotics are produced world-wide by bacteria and fungi in huge tanks – some with volumes in excess of 100,000 liters.  Microbes also produce steroid hormones, enzymes for detergents, and emulsifiers.


Lecture notes  (links to several courses)




Food safety


Other cool sites

Food microbiology information center.  This site contains a number of interesting links such as ``What's in the news?", some one day courses and presentations on risk assessment, food safety and food pathogens. 

Food Microbiology.  This site is intended to be a listing of sites of particular interest to the food microbiologist. The sites are listed in terms of general interest, associations, HACCP, and jounals.

Bad bug Book.   An excellent site for information on food-borne pathogens and natural toxins.


  2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

Click here to email comments to Scott Cooper regarding this site or its links.