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Subject: PROBIOTICI (A.A. 2023/2024)

master degree course in FOOD SAFETY AND CONTROL

Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Unico
To be chosen by the student (lesson)
  • TAF: Optional subjects SSD: AGR/16 CFU: 2
Teachers: Lisa SOLIERI
Moodle portal

Aula virtuale su Microsoft Teams

Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
Contents download pdf download




The course teaches the principles to understand: i) eco-physiology and genetics of probiotic lactic acid bacteria, with special emphasis on the Lacticaseibacillus genus; ii) mechanisms responsible for probiotic actions; iii) selection criteria for novel probiotic cultures; iv) strategies for probiotic delivery through food carrier.
The full list of pedagogical objectives is reported in the section “Expected results”.

Admission requirements

Microbiological and genetics competences are strongly recommended.

Course contents

Teaching activities can be changed depending on the learning aptitude of the students. Approximatively, the lectures will be divided as follows:
“Probiotic” definition; introduction to functional food and nutraceutics; exploitation of probiotics in human and animal health; definition of lactic acid bacteria: genetics, metabolic, and functional properties. Lactic acid bacteria as component of intestinal and fermented food microbiota. The Lacticaseibacillus casei group: taxonomy and eco-physiology.
Probiotic features: safety, technological, functional traits. Selection plan of novel probiotic candidates. Molecular effectors underpinning probiotic functions in Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus strain GG. Comparative genomics and the definition of pan- and core-genome. Probiotic formulations and food carriers.

Teaching methods

Lectures will be carried out using Power point slides and videos. The course is in Italian language. Lecture attendance is strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

Oral exam will be 15 minutes long and will comprise three questions with open answer. The exam will be evaluated with maximum of 30 points, with possibility of laudem. The evaluation will consider the level of the acquired knowledge (25%), the capacity to link the concepts (25%), communication capabilities (10%), the capacity to critically discuss the topics (20%), and capacity to in-deep study the topic (15%). The minimum score is 18/30 (sufficient knowledge of topic and sufficient communication capability).

Learning outcomes

-To list and describe main features of probiotic microbes.
- To Detail and describe the main taxa in intestinal microbiota and in fermented food.
-To describe and analyze the selection process to obtain novel probiotic candidates.
-To describe the mechanisms underpinning probiotic functions in probiotics belonging to the genus Lacticaseibacillus.
-To describe the main probiotic formulations.

- To recognize the main types of probiotics.
- to recognize the main molecular mechanisms responsible for probiotic action, as well as the main formulations of probiotic cells, including food carriers.
- To hypothesize and predict probiotic effects based on genetic and functional trait of probiotic cells.
- To select specific probiotic cells for specific health problems.
- To design a selection program to prioritize microbial candidates with potential probiotic action for in vivo trials.

- To analyze and evaluate selection plan of novel probiotic candidates
- To formulate critical thinking on molecular mechanisms underpinning probiotic functions

- To communicate the acquired knowledge clearly and concisely.
- To use an appropriate scientific language, concepts, and model to effectively discuss the pro and contra on the usage of probiotics and their formulation.

-Use the developed knowledge to properly understand further topics on the usage of either microbial whole cells or their metabolites to promote human health.
-Acquire the methodological tools to continue the studies and to promote the self-upgrade through the reading of specialized literature and advanced textbooks relative to the relationships between microbes and human health.


Sulla pagina del Portale MOODLE relativa all’insegnamento di Probiotici sono disponibili le dispense utilizzate dal docente nel corso delle lezioni frontali e gli articoli scientifici citati duranti le lezioni frontali.