Molecular traceability of foods

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the knowledge to use and implement biomolecular analytical tools for traceability in agri-food chains and the quali / quantitative determination of food components through the analysis of DNA and proteins.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to manage the most common biomolecular methods of analysis and to implement new molecular tools for the biomolecular analysis of food products. Students will be able to correctly understand and manage the current national and community regulations on traceability of food products. At the end of the course the students will be able to proceed with the purification of DNA and proteins starting from food, to detect and quantifying GMOs and to assess the compliance of typical and niche foods with their production specifications, as well as detecting potential allergens and harmful biological macromolecules.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods: The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform according to the timetable of the second semester. the lessons will be broadcast live and recorded and left available to students on the same platform. The calendar of the lessons and all the details of the activities will be published on the ARIEL bulletin board of the course before the beginning of the course. Any updates will also be communicated promptly through notices on the ARIEL board.
The methods and criteria for participating to lessons in the presence according to what will be established by the University, will be published in time on the ARIEL board of the course. Practical labs will take place partly in person and partly online, both asynchronously (providing the material with audio commentary through the Ariel website) and in live 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 assessment procedures and assessment criteria: The exam will take place orally using the Microsoft Teams platform, according to the official instructions provided by the University.
Course syllabus
Fundamentals concerning the regulations on traceability and traceability (Reg.178 / 2002, Regs. 1829-1830 / 2003) for the classification of the analytical needs aimed at: i) Traceability of varieties and species in raw materials and vegetable ingredients; ii) Molecular traceability and labeling of GMO products; iv) Identification of food ingredients (eg presence of particular flours in mixtures, horse meat in meatballs, etc); v) Molecular characterization for compliance with the production regulations of typical products. Classical and advanced methodologies for the analysis of informational macromolecules: PCR (Taqman, multiplex), microarrays (chips) of nucleic acids and proteins. Protein analysis: extraction, proteomics (one and two-dimensional electrophoresis, shotgun), ELISA. Methods for the simultaneous determination of ingredients in complex matrices.
Problems related to the fragmentation / degradation of proteins and nucleic acids following production and storage processes. Assessment of matrix effects.
GMOs: detection methods for the identification and quantification of GMOs (determination of unique identifiers, transformation events); method validation: role of reference laboratories; databases of validated methods.
Evaluation of the presence of allergens.
Development of diagnostic kits of agri-food interest.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of biomolecular techniques and methodologies of applied biochemistry and molecular biology (PCR, immunochemical methods, electrophoresis of proteins and nucleic acids).
Teaching methods
Lectures and individual laboratory exercises.
Lessons: 28 hours (3.5 CFU)
Laboratories: 8 hours (0.5 CFU)
Teaching Resources
Course slides and scientific articles. All the material is available on the ARIEL website of the course
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam based on the presentation and discussion of a scientific article proposed by the teacher on the ARIEL website of the course and on the consequent questions on the topics of the course. The exam can be taken, by appointment with the teacher, to be requested by e-mail, after registering for a session on the SIFA platform.
The learning test will be assessed according to the following criteria:
1. Proof of understanding of the topics covered during lectures and laboratory exercises
2. Ability to discuss, in a critical and integrated way, the concepts and issues of traceability along the agri-food supply chains
3. Knowledge of the principles underlying the laboratory methodologies used
4. Correct terminology
5. Completeness of responses

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/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 4
Laboratories: 8 hours
Lessons: 28 hours
Professor: Scarafoni Alessio
Thursday afternoon only by appointment (by e-mail)
Building 21040, first floor