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master degree course in FOOD SAFETY AND CONTROL

Course year 2
Teaching units Unit unico
Food Technologies (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: BIO/10 CFU: 5
Food Technologies (laboratory)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: BIO/10 CFU: 1
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language lingua italiana
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At the end of the course, the student will have acquired the fundamental knowledge regarding the basic biochemical techniques applied to food analysis. The student will also be able to describe and analyze the main biochemical techniques used in the agro-food sector from a theoretical-practical and mechanistic point of view and to identify which techniques to apply when faced with a problem in the field of control and safety of food.

Admission requirements

Knowledge of Food Chemistry, Biochemistry and Nutritional Biochemistry

Course contents

0.5 CFU (4 hours): In vitro and in vivo experimentation techniques. UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy: physical principles of absorption; Lambert-Beer law; instrumentation and applications. Cell cultures: primary and continuous cell lines. Examples of applications in nutritional studies.
1,5 CFU (12 hours): Purification and characterization of proteins. Protein extraction, purification and determination techniques. General principles of chromatographic techniques: adsorption, gel-filtration, ion exchange and affinity. Electrophoretic techniques.
1,5 CFU (12 hours): Introduction to mass spectrometry. Ionization techniques: ESI and MALDI. Mass analyzers: ion trap, quadrupole, TOF. Mass and mass experiments in tandem. Omics techniques (proteomics, peptidomics and metabolomics) and their applications in food control and safety.
1 CFU (8 hours): Antibodies and their applications in food safety.
0.5 CFU (4 hours): Biochemical basis of food-based diseases (prion diseases, allergies and celiac disease).
1 CFU (8 hours): practical exercises carried out in the laboratory to learn the biochemical methodologies applied to the study of food discussed in the lectures

Teaching methods

The course includes both lectures in the classroom and practical exercises in the laboratory. The lectures are delivered through powerpoint presentations, scientific articles and examples taken from research conducted in the laboratory. An interactive approach will be applied to the lectures with the projection of films to illustrate the various techniques. The practical exercises involve the application of instrumental techniques previously illustrated during the lectures on the study of food. The course is delivered in Italian. Attendance at lessons is not compulsory, but recommended.

Assessment methods

Verification of learning is carried out through an oral exam lasting about 20-30 minutes. The oral exam includes three questions on three different topics from those covered during the course of the course. During the oral exam the student's ability to solve problems related to the control and safety of food is also verified through the application of the analytical techniques illustrated during the frontal teaching. The evaluation is expressed out of thirty. The minimum score to pass the exam is set at 18/30. To achieve a score of 30/30 cum laude, the student must demonstrate that they have acquired an excellent knowledge of all the topics covered and have a correct expository language to describe the teaching contents. The exams take place over the course of the educational calendar of the educational offer and for each exam the student who intends to take it must register using the Esse3 platform. There are no intermediate evaluations.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: through lectures the student acquires the skills necessary to apply modern biochemical techniques to food analysis.

Applied knowledge and understanding: through the discussion and presentation of examples from recent scientific literature on the subject, students will develop the ability to identify and solve, through the applications of biochemical methodologies, problems inherent in the control and safety of food, also referred to way to unmask food fraud. By carrying out practical exercises, students will be able to apply the knowledge acquired during lectures in the field of biochemical analysis of food. The exercises also allow the student to understand the experimental approach applied to biochemistry.

Autonomy of judgment: during the course, students will acquire autonomy of judgment and the ability to integrate information in order to apply protocols and instrumental methods in food analysis.

Communication skills: through class discussion of scientific articles and through the observations conducted during the exercises, students will be able to express the concepts discussed with appropriate language in order to be able to compare themselves with both specialist and non-specialist colleagues on the application of biochemical techniques in the study of food.

Learning skills: the activities described allow students to acquire the methodological tools to be able to apply their skills in the workplace and research and to independently provide for their own updating.