Biochemistry and microbiology of animal derived foods

A.Y. 2017/2018
Lesson for
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To investigate the nature, characteristics and modification of the proteins that characterize food of animal origin and their interactions with other food constituents. To understand the molecular changes during processing in relation to the overall quality of food. To increase the knowledge on the physiology, ecology and genetics of microbial pathogens and hygienic indicators of hygiene in food chains of animal origin. To understand the role of microbial activities in the meat transformation . To deepen the knowledge on the risk analysis and the application of predictive microbiology in meat and fish processing.
After attending the course the student will be able to:
- Understand the molecular basis of the quality of products of animal origin, including the transformation involvements
- Assess the relevance and significance of interventions aimed to improve the safety and nutritional value of food of animal origin
- Apply the knowledge acquired in order to prevent, control and use microorganisms in the production and distribution of meat, poultry and fishery
- Assessment of the survival/growth of a microorganism in products through algorithms modeling. Plan and organize a system for monitoring the hygiene and quality compliance.
- Apply protocols for the identification and the genetic typing of microorganisms.

Course structure and Syllabus

Active edition
Classroom activities (prof. Iametti) Fundamentals of animal metabolism Muscle cell metabolism in various food-relevant organisms Information flux among tissues Nitrogenous metabolism and its regulation Origin and biosynthesis of proteins and lipids Structural features of individual components and their relationship to functional properties Molecular physiology of the muscle The muscle/meat conversion Apoptotic and non-apoptotic pathways Methodologies for assessing the molecular events in the muscle/meat conversion Structural modification of macromolecules and their relevance to meat quality Micronutrients in animal-derived foods Digestibility of animal-derived foods and factors that may affect it Analysis of case studies Egg proteins: their properties and their modification upon storage and processing Biochemical markers of egg quality Bioactive components in animal-derived foods: nutritional and anti-nutritional components; food allergens of animal origin Lab and practical classes (prof. Iametti) Spectroscopic methods for evaluating meat ripening Approaches for assessing apoptotic and non-apoptotic degradation pathways Literature analysis Classroom activities (prof. Foschino) Role of microrganisms in animal-derived food products - food safety criteria - process hygiene criteria - techniques for molecular identification of microorganisms and phenotypic and genetic typing of bacterial strains - health risks related Salmonella, Shiga-Toxin Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and enterotoxins, Campylobacter, Vibrio cholera, Clostridium botulinum -health risks related to viruses, algal toxins and TSE Hygienic and microbiological aspects of animal-derived food products Microbiology of fresh meats: pork and beef, chicken and game. Microbiology of dressed meats and sausages. Microbiology of fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Microbiology of eggs and egg-derived products. Pathogen bacteria; hygienic markers; microbial alterations. Starters: types and selection; role of microbial cultures in processing
Teaching methods
Il materiale presentato nelle singole lezioni ed alcune monografie specifiche vengono distribuite in copia agli allievi a cura del docente.
Lesson period
First semester
Lesson period
First semester
Assessment methods
Assessment result
voto verbalizzato in trentesimi