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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[50/23]  FOOD AND NUTRITION SCIENCES [23/10 - Ord. 2017]  ALIMENTI 6 72


The course aims at providing students with specific knowledge of the main analytical methods for evaluating the role of specific food/components on health and assessing the safety and microbiological quality of food. In particular, the training objectives are:

• the study of nutraceutical properties of foods in relation to their use in the prevention of those pathologies strictly related to nutrition;
• the evaluation of food as a source of oxidation/degradation products involved in the pathogenesis of degenerative diseases;
• the acquisition of knowledge on the main diagnostic techniques used for the detection, quantification and characterization of the major microorganisms responsible for food-borne diseases and those that can provide information on the microbiological status and food process conditions.

The course will provide methodological and instrumental application skills for evaluating:
• the oxidative status of foods and biological materials and the protective action of nutrients and non-nutrients (phytochemicals) in relation to particular diseases;
• the food safety and suitability for human consumption;
• the chemical and microbiological characteristics of food matrices.

The course aims to provide students with a progressive judgmental ability to evaluate analytical data from the scientific literature and direct experimental experience, in order to evaluate and solve simple and complex problems, that may occur under various circumstances of the professional activity.

The course will provide students with a cultural background accompanied by a proper terminology in biology and biomedicine, that will allow him to interact and communicate effectively, also in English, through correct written and oral forms, at work with figures of different level of expertise.

The concepts taught provide the basic knowledge that will allow the student to critically and autonomously engage with more specific topics related to the discipline, as well as the continuous updating of scientific knowledge and methodologies of food analysis and skills required to the profession.


Basic notions of biochemistry, physiology, nutritional pathology and food hygiene


Pathology module

Presentation of the topics and analytical methods that will be carried out during the laboratory experiences:
- Functional foods and nutraceuticals
- Phytochemicals as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds
- Food antioxidants: biological activity and mechanism of action
- Oxidative stress and pathological implications; food as a source of oxidation products
Determination of oxidative alteration of foods; in vitro evaluation (cell-free systems and cell cultures) of oxidative stress, inflammation and the protective action of nutrients and phytochemical compounds, through biochemical methods, spectrophotometric and chromatographic analyzes and molecular biology techniques.
Conclusive considerations related to the performed activities

Hygiene module

• Microbiological analysis of food:
Determination of the number and detection of viable microorganisms in a sample (Colony count method, Most Probable Number counts, MPN)
Determination of microbial parameters related to food safety and process hygiene criteria according to (EC) No 1441/2007, Total Bacterial Count, Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli -glucuronidase-positive, coagulase positive staphylococci, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp.
Determination of microbial quality indicator and /or food spoilage microorganisms: Lactic acid bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic spore forming bacteria, yeasts and molds
• Identification and characterization of food related microorganisms: conventional methods for identification of microorganisms (morphology, Gram stain, oxidase test, catalase test, hemolytic reaction, motility, carbohydrate fermentation on TSI, characterization by galleries micro-method APIs).
Molecular identification by species-specific PCR, molecular typing by RAPD and Rep-PCR
• Summary of the topics and analytical methods performed during laboratory exercises.

Teaching Methods

Pathology module
The pathology module involves laboratory activity supported by PowerPoint presentations.

Hygiene module
The food hygiene module involves laboratory activity. Learning the techniques of microbial analysis techniques, performed during LAB exercises, will be consolidated through the support of PowerPoint presentations.

Verification of learning

Oral examination: The student will discuss orally a few different topics/experimental techniques proposed by the teachers of each module, using, where necessary, schemes / graphic representations. Knowledge of the topics of the course, the ability to link between different topics, the expressive capacity, the use of appropriate terminology, the ability to synthesize will be evaluated.
The final grade will result from the average between the grades of the two modules. Each grade takes into account several factors:
Quality of the knowledge, skills and competences:
a) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of knowledge
b) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
c) appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of competences
Exposition mode:
a) Capacity of expression;
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the contents;
e) Ability to connect different arguments by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design, ie taking care of structure, organization and logical connections of speech exposition;
f) Ability to summarize.
Relational qualities:
Capability to exchange and interact with the teacher during the interview.
Personal qualities:
a) critical spirit;
b) ability to self-evaluation.
Consequently, the judgment can be:
a) Fair (18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive abilities modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the subjects at elementary level; poor capacity for synthesis, lack of interaction with the teacher during the interview.
b) Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a discreet acquisition of knowledge but lack of depth, with a few gaps; expressive abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the language of science, logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the arguments of moderate complexity, more than enough capacity for synthesis and the ability to graphic expression acceptable.
c) Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a rather large knowledge, moderate depth, with small gaps; satisfactory mastery of the expressive capabilities and significant scientific language; dialogical ability and critical thinking well detectable, good capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression more than acceptable.
d) Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive knowledge, well depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable powers of expression and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable capacity of dialogue, good competence and relevant aptitude for logic synthesis, high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive and in-depth knowledge, gaps irrelevant, high capacity and high mastery of the expressive language of science; excellent capacity of dialogue, aptitude to make connections between different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the expression graphics.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average, and whose notional, expressive, conceptual, and logical limits, if any, as a whole are completely irrelevant.


Cocchi, Mordenti- Alimenti e salute- CLUEB
Pontieri, Russo, Frati - Patologia generale- PICCIN
Wilkie F. Harrigan - Laboratory Methods in Food Microbiology – ACADEMIC PRESS
Antonietta Galli Volonterio- Microbiologia degli Alimenti (Cap. 11 – Metodi e terreni colturali per l’analisi microbiologica degli alimenti)- Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

More Information

Teacher will provide material for a more in-depth study where it is needed.
How to sign: in order to take the oral exam the students have to sign on ESSE3 within three days prior to the date of the exam. For information (time, room, etc.) call the following numbers: pathology 0706754126/4185; hygiene 070 6754145/4195.

Questionnaire and social

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