D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 12
Hours 108
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL 3A486


The following topics are propaedeutic to the teaching: basic knowledge of food chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and unit operations of the food processing.

Development of the course

All the learning subjects will be treated both under theoretical and practical point of view, and some laboratory session of teaching will be planned including numerical calculus on the design and evaluation of the shelf-life of foods and beverages The course consists mainly of classroom theoretical lectures (8 ECTS, 72 hours), and other activities, including laboratory experiences, carried out individually or in small groups, seminars and visits to local and national food industries (4 ECTS, 36 hours, in all). An e-learning course is available to support the classroom lectures, that provides all the educational documents organized in learning units, free exercises for the self-evaluation, instructions for the laboratory experiences, information and booking for seminars and visits, info on the exams calendar. 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

  1. Getting knowledge on the basics of food quality as well as of its technological origin into the main foods and beverages
  2. Getting knowledge about the strategies giving quality and safety assurance
  3. Getting knowledge and understanding on both the mechanisms and kinetics of quality decay during storage
  4. Getting knowledge about the possible food contaminants and their origin
  5. Getting knowledge and understanding on the role, properties, functions of the packaging
  6. Getting knowledge and understanding about the theoretical principles, instrumental configuration and qualitative-quantitative analytical capacity of the main instrumental techniques largely used in food quality studies and evaluation
  7. Getting knowledge and understanding on the main techniques to acquire and process experimental data on the food quality


Applying knowledge and understanding:

(a)   development of the ability to apply and integrate all previously basics of knowledge gained about food and beverage quality aspects, including composition, physical, biological, microbiological, market, health, sensory as well as the authenticity, functionality and safety, with the purpose to self individuate all suitable and objective index of quality

(b) development of the ability to apply and integrate all previously basics of knowledge and understanding gained about the technological process and mechanism of quality decay in food and beverage, with the purpose to rationally design, verify and estimate the actual quality level, when the main quality decay mechanisms are dependent on product, process or packaging variables.

(c)   development of the ability to apply and integrate the plan of experiments, sampling method, and instrumental analysis with the purpose to gain new knowledge about the food quality decay and understanding about the authenticity of food and beverage.



  1. making judgements: ability into the screening among the quality descriptors those suitable to trace the actual quality profile in foods and beverages;
  2. ability for individuate the basic information on the base of which it is possible improvee, assure and verify the food quality
  3. communicating skillness: ability to communicate with clarity all ideas and problems concerning food and beverage quality to food experts, specialists with an appropriate technical language

  1. Theoretical Basis of Food Quality and Quality Descriptors [3 ECTS]

Different aspects of food quality including nutritional value, safety level, functional, dietetic, sensory, rheological, technological, intended for health purposes, authenticity, typical, and frauds. Mechanisms and kinetics of the main quality decays (fatty acids aoutoxidation and thermooxidation, sugar caramellization, Maillard reactions, etc.) Potential contaminants and their origin (environment, product, and process).


  1. Assuring Food Quality [3 ECTS]

Public, private, collective labels (protected designation of origin), nutritional and health claims, microbiological risk assessment, rapid alert system, traceability, inspection and monitoring.


  1. Design, Assessment, and Predictive Analysis of the Food Quality [3 ECTS]

Mathematical modelling of quality decay kinetics. Relationships between food shelf-life, composition, water activity, phase and state transitions, relaxation time. Predictive analysis of product, process and packaging dependent food shelf-life. Role and functional properties of the packaging. Design of the best packaging for a sustainable food industry.


  1. Instrumental diagnosis and assessment of the food authenticity [3 ECTS]

Theoretical basis, instrumental configuration, qualitative and quantitative capacity of the main instrunìmental techniques, including densitometry, refractometry, potentiometry; volumetry e gravimetry, cromatografy; spectroscopy; thermal analysis, rheolocial analysis. Development and validation of an instrumental method. Sampling method, design of the experiments. Combining more than two experiments with the purpost to evaluate the food authenticity.


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on three of the subjects listed in the teaching program, one of which will be chosen by the student. During the course, there are also going to be available self-evaluation tests (e-learning mode), in order to provide the students useful information about their skill level.


Learning evaluation criteria

The student will have to demonstrate: (a) adequate understanding of the basics to be used to individuate the quality descriptor, (b) adequate knowledge and understanding the basics in order to perform a rational design of the food quality of a food or beverage chosen from the student; (c) development of the ability to apply and integrate all previously basics of knowledge and of understanding gained on the instrumental techniques in order to perform the quality assessment of a food or a beverage chosen by the student.


Learning measurement criteria

The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 with honors.


Final mark allocation criteria

The oral examination consist of three questions concerning the subjects listed in the teaching program, each of ones will be quantified in the range 0 - 10.

In order to pass the examination, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) overall understanding of the subjects; (b) appropriate usage of technical terminology. In order to obtain the best evaluation, the student will have to demonstrate: (a) in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subjects; (b) fluency in the usage of the technical lexicon; (c) ability to solve simple problems about modifications of the process parameters or the sequence of unit operations.


Recommended reading

Teaching and educational documents are available on the e-learning web platform, that include several self-evaluation tools and interactive tests.

In the following some texbooks:

La qualità dei prodotti alimentari. J.L. Multon. Tecnihce Nuove

Food Packaging. Materiali, Tecnoogie e Qualità degli alimenti. Ed. Luciano Piergiovani e Sara Limbo. Springer-Verlag Italia

Food Materials Science: Principles and Practice (Food Engineering Series), Aguilera, Lillford, 2008, Springer

Food Texture and Viscosity: Concept and Measurement by Malcolm C. Bourne (2002). Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology Books. ISBN: 0121190625

  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari (STAL)

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
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