Biotic contamination of food and environments

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
AGR/11 AGR/12 VET/04
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the fundamental knowledge about postharvest diseases and disorders caused by biotic agents, such as fungi and bacteria, and about their diagnosis. Moreover, students will learn how to acquire information necessary to understand EU rules on biotic and abiotic residues in food as well as on analytical methods for their identification.
Expected learning outcomes
At end of the course, the student will be able to recognize the main symptoms caused by biotic agents in postharvest and to be aware of the most frequent alterations occurring during storage as well as of the main risks, legislation and most effective analytical methods related to residues in stored food products.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information of the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided ower the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Postharvest alterations and loss extent (physiological alterations, damages due to physical, chemical and biological conditions or parasites; losses from harvest to market). Outlines of plant pathology (the concept of disease in plants, classification of plant diseases, the cycle of disease, host-pathogen relationships). Pathogens in post harvest diseases (phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria, their pathogenesis). Main genera of fungi and bacteria that causes post harvest losses. Mycotoxins and mycotoxicoses. Control of postharvest diseases (physical, chemical and biological methods; integrated control). Food residues, legal restrictions and analytical methods.
Characteristics and damage caused by pests. Main species infesting commodities and processing environments and storage: Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Psocottera, Thysanura and Cockroaches. Main species of mites of the foodstuffs. Factors favoring settlement, survival and spread of weeds. Factors that make it difficult to control weeds in post-harvest. Biocenosis of cereals, legumes, nuts, and herbs stored. General rules of prevention. Standards of cleanliness. Winding and packaging. Attacks on packaging before use. Attacks on packaging and packaging ready for commercialization. Resistance of the packaging to the attack of insects. Consideration of a hole to determine origin infestation. Insects penetrators and invaders. Methods of analysis, sampling, tools for sampling, sampling techniques, packaging and storage of samples. Main methods to detect the presence of pests: direct visual examination, sieving, organic, hectoliter weight, flottazone, staining methods, calorimetric and respirometric, method, X-ray and acoustic analysis. Filth test. Methods for environments: analysis of trace probe traps, pheromone traps. Analysis of finished products. How to use the monitoring data. Determination origin infestation. Use of biocides in the environment: insecticides of natural origin and synthetic analogues, organic synthesis, fumigants and gas mixture: Norms for correct use of biocides used in silos and warehouses. Physical method: silos-bag, circulation and ventilation, low and high temperatures, centrifugal force, inert dust, vacuum drying and controlled atmosphere.Murids: species, damage, prevention and monitoring. Identification of the species, application of the means of control and monitoring of results. Examples of application of integrated pest management plans in warehouses, silos and mill. Legislative and considerations on Article 5 of Law 283/1962.
Prerequisites for admission
It is advised to have knowledge of elements of biology and primary productions.
Teaching methods
The teachers will use lectures and classroom exercises and laboratories activities.
Teaching Resources
Material is available on Ariel including text and slides.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral and written test and takes place on a single date for both Learning Units.
There are no ongoing checks. During the year, various exam sessions are proposed during the periods set by the didactic regulation. The dates of the exsam sessions are regularly and officially published, in the times and in the manner prescribed by the regulations, on the SIFA web pages.
The written test include a multiple choice quiz on a PC and a exercise to assess the comprehension of the legislation for what concern residues in post harvest products. The interview on the topics in the program will be based on 2-3 questions, aimed at ascertaining the achievement of the teaching objectives. During the examination, descriptions or comments of images or diagrams related to the individual topics in the program may be requested. The exam will be passed reporting the sufficiency in both modules and the mark for each module contributes 50% to the formation of the final grade of the integrated exam.
Gestione integrata degli infestanti negli alimenti e negli ambienti della ristorazione
AGR/11 - GENERAL AND APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY - University credits: 0
AGR/12 - PLANT PATHOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 4 hours
Lessons: 22 hours
Patologia delle derrate alimentari e residui
AGR/11 - GENERAL AND APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY - University credits: 0
AGR/12 - PLANT PATHOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Room R056, building A21030, Via Celoria 2
send an request e-mail
DEFENS Department Via Celoria, 2 Milano