Food Biotechnology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to teach the fundamentals about the chemical and biochemical composition of foods, including their modifications during processing and storing.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will be able to critically front the issues related to the use of molecular biotechnologies for the production and analysis of foods.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods: The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously on the basis of the first semester timetable and asynchronously because they will be recorded and left available to students on the same platform. The schedule of lessons and all the details of the activities will be published through notices on the ARIEL board. before the start of the lessons. Any updates will also be communicated through notices on the ARIEL board.
The methods and criteria for participating to any possible in classroom lessons and practical labs as established by the University, will be published in due time on the ARIEL notice board of the course. The exercises will take place partly in person and partly online, both asynchronously (providing the material with audio commentary through the Ariel site) and with synchronous mode to critically discuss publications and scientific reports of interest (through the Microsoft Teams platform ).
Program and reference material: The program and reference material will not change.
Learning verification procedures and assessment criteria: The exam will take place orally using the Microsoft Teams platform, according to the indications provided by the University.
Course syllabus
1. Elements of food chemistry and biochemistry: Description of the molecular components that make up food and raw materials. The intrinsic properties of the main classes of molecules (proteins, polysaccharides, lipids) which constitute some primary foods (milk, meat, egg, cereals, legumes) and their behavior in tissue systems (eg muscle, seeds, etc.) will be described. Food matrices. Biotechnological foods and products with high biotechnological content derived from food. Elements of molar nutraceutical.
2. Biological and biotechnological modifications of food: Molecular description of the role of the main chemical reactions and structural modifications to which the major macromolecular components of food are exposed during food processing and storage (physical, chemical and biological processes), also in relation to the ability of macromolecules to interact with each other, with the solvent, and with small molecules of nutritional relevance.
3. Biotechnological methods for food analysis: Food analysis based on the characterization of informational macromolecules (DNA and proteins). General principles of food analysis and fields of application of biotechnological approaches. Extraction and isolation of macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) from the food material for analytical and diagnostic purposes. Resolution of the problems related to the interferences of the substances present in the food matrix. Methods and technologies used for the analysis of nucleic acids from food matrices. Methods and technologies for the analysis of proteins present in food. Use of tests for the determination of enzymatic activities and use of immunochemical techniques.
Prerequisites for admission
The course requires consolidated knowledge of the structural properties of proteins and nucleic acids which can be acquired in the "Biochemistry", "Molecular Biology" and "Laboratory of biomolecular methodologies" courses. Please ask the teacher for any information at
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons and individual practical laboratory.
Teaching Resources
Books: Gigliotti-Verna. Biotecnologie alimentari, Piccin Editore.
Simpson-Nollet. Food Biochemistry and Food Processing. Blackwell Publisher.
Course slides uploaded to the ARIEL platform.
Supplementary material distributed on the ARIEL platform
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam based on the presentation and discussion of the topics covered during the course. The exam can be taken, by appointment with the teacher, to be requested by e-mail, after registering for an appeal on the SIFA platform.
The learning verification will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1. Proof of understanding of the topics covered during lectures and laboratory exercises
2. Ability to expose, in a critical and integrated way, the concepts at the molecular level of the role of the main chemical reactions and structural modifications that the major macromolecular components of food undergo during the transformation and conservation of food (physical, chemical processes, and biological), also in relation to the ability of macromolecules to interact with each other and with the solvent.
3. Knowledge of laboratory methodologies for the realization and understanding of biotechnological interventions on foods
4. Correct terminology
5. Completeness of the answers
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Single bench laboratory practical: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Scarafoni Alessio
Thursday afternoon only by appointment (by e-mail)
Building 21040, first floor