Modelling microorganisms in food

Edited by S Brul, S Van Gerwen and M Zwietering 
Woodhead  March 2007  

Hardback  320  ISBN 9781845690069      £150.00
  • assesses the latest developments in microbial modelling
  • discusses the issues involved in building models of microbial growth
  • chapters review the use of quantitative microbiology tools in predictive microbiology
  • looks at new approaches to microbial modelling behaviour
  • written by a team of leading experts

Predicting the growth and behaviour of microorganisms in food has long been an aim in food microbiology research. In recent years, microbial models have evolved to become more exact and the discipline of quantitative microbial ecology has gained increasing importance for food safety management, particularly as minimal processing techniques have become more widely used. These processing methods operate closer to microbial death, survival and growth boundaries and therefore require even more precise models. Written by a team of leading experts in the field, Modelling microorganims in food assesses the latest developments and provides an outlook for the future of microbial modelling.

Part one discusses general issues involved in building models of microbial growth and inactivation in foods, with chapters on the historical background of the field, experimental design, data processing and model fitting, the problem of uncertainty and variability in models and modelling lag-time. Further chapters review the use of quantitative microbiology tools in predictive microbiology and the use of predictive microbiology in risk assessment.

The second part of the book focuses on new approaches in specific areas of microbial modelling, with chapters discussing the implications of microbial variability in predictive modelling and the importance of taking into account microbial interactions in foods. Predicting microbial inactivation under high pressure and the use of mechanistic models are also covered. The final chapters outline the possibility of incorporating systems biology approaches into food microbiology.

Modelling microorganisms in food will be a standard reference for all those in the field of food microbiology.



  • Predictive microbiology: past, present and future T A McMeekin, L A Mellefont and T Ross, University of Tasmania, Australia
    Introduction. Turning data into knowledge. Case studies of critical analysis. Recent systematic analysis of literature and the advent of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA). QMRA and predictive microbiology. Advances in technology for the application of predictive models. Conclusions. References.
  • Experimental design, data processing and model fitting in predictive microbiology M A J S van Boekel and M H Zwietering, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    Introduction. Experimental design. Data processing. Model fitting. Future trends. Sources of further information and advice. Appendix. References.
  • Uncertainty and variability in predictive models of microorganisms in food M J Nauta, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands
    Introduction. Case study - part 1. Imprecise predictive models. Case study - part 2. A closer look at variability. A closer look at uncertainty. Separation of uncertainty and variability. Case study - epilogue. Categorising questions of food professionals. GMPs for unpredictable microbes. Future trends: towards novel predictive models. Conclusions. References.
  • Modelling lag-time in predictive microbiology with special reference to the lag phase of bacterial spores J P P M Smelt and S Brul, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Introduction: general aspects of the lag-time. Lag-time of bacterial spores, transformation of the spore to vegetative cells. Quantitative aspects, mathematical modelling. Lag-times in real foods. Conclusions. References.
  • Application of models and other quantitative microbiology tools in predictive microbiology D Legan, Kraft Foods, USA
    Introduction. Definitions. Applications of models and databases. Access to models. Other quantitative microbiology tools. Future trends. Sources of further information and advice. Acknowledgements. References.
  • Predictive models in food risk assessment M Zwietering, University of Wageningen and M J Nauta, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands
    Introduction: quantitative microbiological risk assessment. Quantitative microbiology. Recontamination. Linking models. Information sources. Representativity of models. Food safety objectives and risk assessment. Examples of structured approaches of risk assessment. Conclusions. References.


  • The non-linear kinetics of microbial inactivation and growth in foods M G Corradini and M Peleg, University of Massachusetts, USA
    Introduction. The traditional primary models of inactivation and growth. Traditional secondary models. Sigmoid isothermal survival curves. Non isothermal inactivation. Empirical growth models. Simulation of non-isothermal growth curves. Conclusions. Acknowledgements. References.
  • Modelling of high pressure inactivation of microorganisms in foods A Diels, I Van Opstal, B Masschalck and C W Michiels, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
    Introduction. Factors affecting the microbial inactivation by HP processing. Current models: strengths and weaknesses. Future trends in the modelling of pressure-temperature processes. Conclusions. References.
  • Mechanistic models of microbial inactivation behaviour in foods A A Teixeira, University of Florida, USA
    Introduction. Case for mechanistic models. Development of mechanistic models for microbial inactivation. Model validation and comparison with others. Applications of microbial inactivation mechanistic models. Strengths, weaknesses and limitations of mechanistic models. Future trends with mechanistic models. Sources of further information. References.
  • Modelling microbial interactions in foods F Leroy and L De Vuyst, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
    Introduction. Measuring growth and interactions of bacteria in foods. Developing models of microbial interactions. Applications and implications for food processors. Future trends. References.
  • A kinetic model as a tool to understand the response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to heat exposure F Mesonides, EML Research GmbH, Germany B Bakker, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and S Brul, K Hellingwerf and J Teixeira de Mattos, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Introduction. Experimental data. The model. Validation. Conclusions. Addendum. References.
  • Systems biology and food science S Brul, University of Amsterdam and H V Westerhoff, Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Introduction. Systems biology: biology at last. Systems biology and food microbiology. Food production: metabolic engineering. Food safety. Areas for systems food microbiology in microbial food spoilage research. Models of microbial ecology and food consumption. Sources of further information and advice. Acknowledgements. Addendums. References
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Woodhead Publishing Ltd : bacteriology : food safety : food science : microbiology : modelling, computer & mathematical

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