Bio-based innovation in food science

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students with the basic knowledge to respond to the changing needs of the food system with a bio-based innovation of food ingredients, products and packaging materials also considering consumer's perception of new food technologies and ingredients. Training will be centered on case studies to deepen safety and quality aspects of food innovation and to encompass the use of different food technologies for process optimization and for the application of a circular economy strategy.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will develop the ability to: i) use tools to manage innovation in closed-loop food supply chains, such as risk analysis and product identification and traceability; ii) plan bio-based innovations related to the development of new food ingredients, new packaging materials and new food technologies; iii) perform sensory and consumer science methods in order to explore and interpret consumer food perception, choice and behavior, in view of the emerging trend toward sustainable food systems.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The teaching program of UNIT 1 (Sensory and Consumer Science) will include the following topics:
· The future of the agri-food system - Trends and challenges
· Psychological and physiological factors influencing food acceptance
· Consumer attitudes to food innovation and technology (case studies: 1) tackling overweight and obesity; 2) new food protein sources; 3) organic food; 4) food waste and by-products; 5) nanotechnology)

The teaching program of UNIT 2 (Innovative Food Processing and Products) will include the following topics:
· Principle of food processing
· Innovation in the food industry: drivers, opportunities and challenges
· Development of new products & processing
· Case-study 1: Sustainable crops
· Case-study 2: Recovery of by-products
· Case-study 3: Innovation of traditional foods

The teaching program of UNIT 3 (Bio-based food packaging) will include the following topics:
- Food packaging in the food supply chain
- Definition of "bio" in the food packaging sector
- Biopackaging in a circular economy
- Examples of use of bioresources for a new generation of packaging materials:
· cellulose and its derivatives
· pullulan
· gelatin
· chitosan

The teaching program of UNIT 4 (Closed-loop food supply chains) will include the following topics:
Overview of food supply chains and closed loop approaches to production
Impact of closed -loop supply chain on quality issues:
· Safety and traceability
· Trust
· Value addition
Case study 1: By-product valorization in the plant-based food supply chain
Case study 2: By-product valorization in the animal-based food supply cha
Prerequisites for admission
Students should be confident with the basic concepts of chemistry (especially, organic chemistry) and microbiology. Course prerequisites and exam arrangements are the same for students attending and not attending the course lessons. Lesson attendance is nevertheless strongly encouraged.
Teaching methods
- UNIT 1: 1 CFU frontal lessons + 0.5 CFU lab
- UNIT 2: 1.5 CFU frontal lessons
- UNIT 3: 1.5 CFU frontal lessons
- UNIT 4: 1.5 CFU frontal lessons
Teaching Resources
Slides of the lessons and specific literature will be available on the "Ariel" platform (
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is intended to ascertain the theoretical and applied knowledge of the topics of the four units of the program, including the use of appropriate terms and tools, the clarity of presentation and the ability to integrate the acquired knowledge for problem solving of a specific case study.
The final exam includes a teamwork (to be agreed upon with the teachers) and a written test (8 questions in 60 min).
Specific procedures for students with disabilities or specific learning disabilities (DSA) will be applied also for telematic exams. Here the complete information:……
In case you need specific procedures, please inform the teacher by mail at least 10 days before the exam, including in the addresses or
Bio-based food packaging
AGR/15 - FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 1.5
Lessons: 12 hours
Professor: Farris Stefano
Closed-loop food supply chains
AGR/15 - FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 1.5
Lessons: 12 hours
Innovative Food Processing and Products
AGR/15 - FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 1.5
Lessons: 12 hours
Professor: Marti Alessandra
Sensory and Consumer science
AGR/15 - FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 1.5
Laboratories: 4 hours
Lessons: 10 hours
Professor: Laureati Monica
Educational website(s)
By appointment
Office (Building 21040 - entrance below the metallic staircase to Aula 4 - ground floor)
Thursday 16.30-17.30. Please, contact me in advance by e-mail
DeFENS-Sezione Tecnologie Alimentari