Functional foods and nutraceuticals

A.A. 2024/2025
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The course aims to bring the students to evaluate the contribution and the perspectives of biotechnology in the formulation of ingredients/foods with potential biological and functional effects. Specifically, the course is aimed to: i) provide basic knowledge on digestion, absorption and metabolism of the different macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and nutraceuticals/bioactive compounds (e.g., carotenoids, glucosinolates, and polyphenols); ii) familiarize students to the concept of biological plausibility and provide the instruments for a better understanding of the scientific evidence linking diet and dietary/bioactive compounds to a physiological and functional effect and, in turn, to human health; iii) enable students to understand the concept of functional foods and their role in the human health and well-being.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Students will acquire basic knowledge on the physiology of human nutrition and the importance of dietary components (macro and micronutrients, and nutraceuticals) in the context of the human well-being. Students will be then equipped with knowledge necessary to understand the complexity of the relation diet-health, and the importance of human evidence-based nutrition. Students will learn the regulatory aspects of nutraceuticals and functional foods and the requirements for their safety and efficacy assessment. Perspectives about the application of biotechnology for improving the formulation of potential functional ingredients/foods will be mastered.
Corso singolo

Questo insegnamento non può essere seguito come corso singolo. Puoi trovare gli insegnamenti disponibili consultando il catalogo corsi singoli.

Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Secondo semestre

1-Anatomy and physiology of digestive system;
2-Digestion, absorption and metabolism of macro and micronutrients;
3-Role of macro and micronutrients and nutritional needs;
4-Role of dietary patterns/foods/components in health and disease prevention;
5-Nutraceuticals and functional foods: definition, purpose, and health benefits;
6-Role of biotechnology in the formulation of functional ingredients/foods;
7-The "Omic sciences": a new comprehensive approach to food and nutrition.
Course prerequisites and exam arrangements are the same for students attending and not attending the course lessons. A knowledge of basic biochemistry is recommended. For further information, students are encouraged to contact the teacher to obtain indications about texts and bibliographic references that can be studied to fill possible knowledge gaps.
Metodi didattici
Interactive frontal lessons, individual work and practical lab. activities

-Lessons: 40 hours (5.0 CFU)
1-Digestion, absorption, metabolism and role of macro- and micro-nutrients (1 CFU)
2-Nutraceuticals and dietary supplements (1.5 CFU)
3-Functional foods (1.5 CFU)
4-Use of the biotechnologies and new analytical approaches for the implementation and the study of new formulations/ingredients/foods (1 CFU)

-Practicals: 8 hours (0.5 CFU)
Evaluation and application of the main biotechnological techniques to enhance the nutritional characteristics and overall quality of food products

-Laboratories: 8 hours (0.5 CFU)
1- Quantification of the total polyphenolic content present in different food matrices. (4 hours)
2- Analysis of biomarkers using enzymatic and/or electrophoresis assays. (4 hours)
Materiale di riferimento
-M.E. Shils, Modern nutrition in health and disease, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1999

-Teaching materials: slides and scientific papers, legislative documents. The materials will be provided to the students through the myAriel platform (
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
At least 7 exam sessions per year will be fixed. The oral exam will be at the end of the course consisting in 2-3 open questions on specific topics described during the course. The duration of the examination will be 25-30 min.

The learning verification will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1. Knowledge of the contents and ability to expose
2. Correct terminology
3. Completeness of the answers
Specific procedures for students with specific learning disabilities (DSA) or disabilities will be applied. Here the complete information:
Students are encourage to inform the teacher by mail at least 10 days before the exam, including in the addresses [email protected] or [email protected].
Esercitazioni: 8 ore
Laboratori: 8 ore
Lezioni: 40 ore
Tutti i giorni previo appuntamento
Ufficio: via Giuseppe Colombo 62, Edificio 21070, Primo Piano
Tutti i giorni previo appuntamento
Via Giuseppe Colombo 62, Edificio 21070, Primo Piano