Select Academic Year:     2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023
First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[50/23]  FOOD AND NUTRITION SCIENCES [23/10 - Ord. 2017]  ALIMENTI 8 72


A - Knowledge and understanding capacity
Students will acquire chemical knowledge on the main classes of macromolecules of nutritional interest. They will acquire knowledge on the fundamental principles of the most common electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques for elemental analysis (AAS, EAS ICP AES and ICP-MS, XPS) and for molecular characterization (UV-vis, IR, NMR). Furthermore, students will acquire knowledge on methods of statistical analysis for the analysis of instrumental data, to be used for the qualitative and quantitative investigation and characterization of food matrices. They will acquire the ability to process and critically evaluate the results obtained in the laboratory through the different techniques. This knowledge will allow the student to understand the applicability and validity of advanced analytical and spectroscopic methods in the agri-food sector, in relation to national and community food and health legislation. They will have to acquire knowledge on the methods for the characterization of food at the macro-, micro- and -nano level to be used for a specific control, in particular for commercial, food, ingredients, additives and food supplements.

B - Skills
Students will familiarize themselves with the scientific methods of investigation and application skills for the study of the chemical characteristics of food matrices. They will acquire the ability to interpret and execute analytical protocols, to describe the results with mathematical rigor and to modify the experimental conditions in order to improve the limits of detection and quantification.

C - Autonomy of judgement
The course aims to develop critical reasoning skills, in particular the ability to evaluate and interpret theoretical and experimental data. Students will be able to critically analyze electro-analytical and spectroscopic techniques, identifying their strengths and limits, also referring to sampling and sample preparation methods, to independently judge the validity of an analytical data on the basis of the technique used and the addressed problem.

D - Communication ability
Students will be able to communicate clearly, with appropriate language, information, ideas and solutions to problems through correct written and oral forms (possibly also in English). Students will acquire the ability to work in groups

E - Learning ability
Students will acquire knowledge and be able to autonomously and appropriately use the sources of professional updating (bibliography, databases, regulations) and current Italian and European regulations.


A sound background in general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and biochemistry


• Development of an analytical method - phases of chemical analysis and problem definition: presentation of case studies.
• Sampling; in situ analysis and organoleptic analysis; sample preparation, sample processing, separation of interferents; methods for treating food: drying, distillation and freeze-drying; reference to the classical methods of gravimetric and volumetric analysis.
• Electroanalytical techniques: potentiometry, conductimetry, introduction to voltammetric techniques and polarography. Reading and analysis of a scientific work published in an international journal.
• Techniques for the elemental analysis of food matrices
• Introduction to surface analysis techniques: in particular X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and secondary ion mass spectrometry with time-of-flight detector (ToF-SIMS) with food chemistry.

• The electromagnetic spectrum. Electromagnetic radiation. Absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation: basic principles. Classical and quantum mechanical model
• UV-visible spectroscopy. Chromophores. Selection rules. Lambert-Beer Law. UV absorption of proteins and nucleic acids.
• Infrared spectroscopy (IR). Vibrational modes of linear and non-linear molecules. Stretching and bending. Selection rules. Interpretation of a MIR spectrum (Mid-infrared): fingerprint region and group frequency region. MIR and NIR (Near Infra Red) analysis of food matrices
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR). Basic principles of NMR spectroscopy. Frequency of Larmor. Chemical shift. Fine structure of NMR spectra. 1H and 13C NMR analysis of food matrices
• Practical laboratory exercises for the characterization of food matrices by means of spectroscopic methods in relation to changes induced by cooking and technological processes of production and conservation.

Teaching Methods

The teaching method includes classroom lectures (3 CFU/24 h for the "Analytical Chemistry" module, 3 CFU/24 h for the "Spectroscopic Techniques" module) which include an oral presentation conducted through the commentary on material illustrative. Each lesson is structured as follows:
• an introduction, which includes a clear presentation of the objectives, the key ideas and their relation to the objectives of the entire Course. The fundamental aims of the introduction are to consolidate attention, reinforce motivation and provide an overview of what will be subsequently developed;
• a development, which presents the contents in detail in order to highlight the connections between the ideas or the key points.
• a conclusion, or summary, that welds together the whole. The conclusion is intended to reinforce learning and to reconnect the contents of the lesson with the general objectives.

The module "Spectroscopic Techniques" includes laboratory exercises (2 CFU) to be carried out in a group in which the concepts introduced in the classroom lessons will be put into practice.
For the "Analytical Chemistry" module, demonstration experiences and visits to accredited food analysis laboratories are planned as part of the supplementary educational activities.

Verification of learning

The exam of "Spectroscopic Techniques" includes an oral discussion on the principles and applications of spectroscopic techniques in the food area and on laboratory experiences.
For Analytical Chemistry, the oral test will focus on a topic of analytical chemistry on sampling and electroanalytical and spectroscopic techniques for elementary analysis;

The vote on the final exam test takes into account the following factors:
* Quality of knowledge, skills, skills possessed and / or manifested: appropriateness, correctness and congruence of knowledge, skills and competences
* Exposure mode: expressive capacity; Appropriate use of the specific language of the discipline; Logical capabilities and consequentiality in the connection of contents; Ability to link different topics by finding the common points and to establish a coherent general design, that is to say by taking care of the structure, organization and logical connections of the exposition; Ability to synthesis also through the use of the symbolism of the material and the graphic expression of notions and concepts, in the form, for example, of formulas, schemes, equations.
* Relational qualities: Availability to exchange and interaction with the teacher during the interview.
* Personal qualities: critical spirit; Self-assessment capacity.

The evaluation of each exam is attributed by means of a score in thirtieths on the basis of the following learning evaluation scale. The final vote is calculated as the weighted average of the evaluations achieved for the two modules.

a) Sufficient (from 18 to 20/30) The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps, modest expressive abilities, but still sufficient to sustain a coherent dialogue; logical skills and consequentiality in the connection of the elementary level topics; lack of synthesis capacity and ability to express graphic expression rather stunted; little interaction with the teacher during the interview.
b) Discrete (from 21 to 23) The candidate demonstrates a discrete acquisition of concepts, but some shortcomings; more than enough expressive skills to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of scientific language; logical skills and consequentiality in the connection of the topics of moderate complexity; more than sufficient capacity for synthesis and acceptable graphic expression skills.
c) Voucher (from 24 to 26) The candidate demonstrates a rather broad baggage of notions, with small gaps; satisfying expressive abilities and significant mastery of scientific language; dialogic ability and critical spirit that can be easily detected; good ability to synthesis and ability to express graphics more than acceptable.
d) Excellent (from 27 to 29) The candidate demonstrates a wide range of notions, with few marginal gaps; remarkable expressive abilities and elevated mastery of the scientific language; remarkable dialogical ability, good competence and relevant aptitude for logical synthesis; high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30) The candidate demonstrates a lot of extensive and in-depth knowledge; high expressive abilities and mastery of scientific language; excellent dialogic ability, a strong ability to make connections between different topics; excellent ability to synthesis and great familiarity with the graphic expression.
The score ’30 cum Laude’ is attributed to candidates clearly above the average, and whose notional, expressive, conceptual, logical limits are generally totally irrelevant.


* The Food Chemistry Laboratory: A Manual for Experimental Foods, Dietetics, and Food Scientists, Second Edition (Contemporary Food Science) 2nd Edition, by Connie M. Weaver and James R. Daniel, CRC Press
* Statistics and Chemometrics for Analytical Chemistry di J.N. Miller and J.C. Miller, Pearson Education Ltd

More Information

• The teaching material of the Spectroscopic Techniques module is shared with the students on the TEAMS platform dedicated to the course.
• The teaching material of the Instrumental Analytical Chemistry module is shared with the students in a dropbox dedicated to the course.
• Teachers are available for in-depth meetings or clarification on the topics covered and to clarify the modalities and interpretation of the experimental data during the preparation of the laboratory reports. It is received every day by appointment (by e-mail requests).

Questionnaire and social

Share on:
Impostazioni cookie