Course overview

The Applied Food Mycology course offers a research led introduction to fungi, yeasts, the toxins they produce and the problems they can cause in foods. This includes both spoilage and health effects. It will present a balanced view of the importance of mycology in the context of the modern food industry.

The growth of fungi and yeasts in foods, and the consequent problems caused by these organisms, is a very important part of food quality and safety, but mycology often does not receive as much attention as the perhaps more familiar problems caused by bacteria.

And yet, food spoilage caused by fungi and yeasts can be far more significant, in particular key food groups that are acidic in nature and/or have low moisture content. These include food groups such as bakery products, dairy products, beverages (e.g. fruit juices), dried fruits and nuts, and confectionary.

Fungi can also present health risks by the production of specific toxic agents called mycotoxins, which are often poorly understood. Mycotoxins are being increasingly recognised as agents of both acute and chronic toxicity in humans and animals, further adding to the importance of understanding food mycology.


Learning outcomes

By the end of the Applied Food Mycology course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a conceptual awareness of the ecology of fungi to apply this to situations relating to food safety and quality.
  • Demonstrate a critical ability to integrate knowledge and thinking on mycology problems in the context of the entire food supply chain.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the reasons why mycotoxins from fungi are considered so important.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered on the Applied Food Mycology course will include:

  • Introduction to food mycology - Do we know enough?
  • Modelling the growth of fungi
  • Heat resistant fungal spores
  • Ecology of spoilage moulds and hurdle technology
  • Diagnostics of mycology – traditional vs modern approaches
  • Beverages and yeast spoilage
  • Mycotoxins: their importance in different food chains
  • Mycotoxins: regulations and sampling issues
  • Modified atmosphere packaging to control moulds and fungi
  • Factory environment – mould and fungi problems
  • Spoilage and HACCCP
  • Mycology demonstration sessions: including mycotoxin analysis

    Key facts

    Course Dates
    Course - 2.5 days. The course can be taken as a stand-alone training course but also makes up one of the optional courses of the Postgraduate Awards in AgriFood.
    Entry Requirements
    Graduate level or experienced within the food industry.
    IFST Membership
    Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
    Course Provider
    Cranfield University
    Course Arrangements
    Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location
    Cranfield University
    AFTP Cohort
    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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