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 6
Hours 54
Period 1^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code STAL-IA 3A098


Basic knowledge of chemistry and physics.

Development of the course

The didactic method is based on ppt lectures (4 CFU) (provided in copies to the students) and laboratory experiences and visits to local and national food industries (2 CFU).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

The course enables students to describe: (a) the chemical and nutritional characteristics, reactivity and interactions between the main food constituents; (b) the mechanisms with which the main degradation processes of nutrients take place.


Applying knowledge and understanding


  1. developing the capability of illustrate the chemical and nutritional proprieties of animal and vegetable foods used for human nutrition
  2. developing the capability of illustrate the chemical and nutritional characteristics of raw material used un food industries
  3. developing the capability to predict the chemical alteration of food



Making judgements: capability of identify the information be needed to improve the efficiency of the processes and the quality of the final products;

Communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the agro-food supply chain (engineers, biologists, chemists, nutritionists, administrators).



Introduction to the food chemistry.

Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and oligosaccharides in foods. Starch and polysaccharides. Dietary fiber: chemical and biological usefulness. Main foods rich in carbohydrates. Changes in the carbohydrate fraction of food as a function of technological treatments of stabilization: the Maillard reaction, the chemical alteration of carbohydrates (1 ECTS).

Proteins. Amino acids, the peptide bond, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. Functions of proteins in nature. Enzymes and heat denaturation. The protein fraction of the food. Main foods rich in protein: milk, cheese, meat, fish. Changes in protein fraction as a function of technological treatments and food production (1 ECTS).

Lipids. Triglycerides and fatty acids, unsaponifiable and saponifiable matter. The distribution of fatty acids into triacylglycerol structure. Modifications of fatty acids as a function of technology: the formation of positional and geometric isomers. Phospholipids: distribution and function in nature. The minor components and the fraction of unsaponifiable matter, hydrocarbons, tocopherols, alcohols, metilsteroli, sterols, carotenoids, polyphenols. The autoxidation of fats: Reaction Mechanism and importance of natural and synthetic antioxidants. Margarines. Hydrogenation of oils and fats (3 ECTS)

Vitamins; hydrosoluble and lyposoluble. Biological activity of vitamins. Principals cations and anions present in the foods and their biological activity. Nutritional properties of foods. (0.5 ECTS)

Chemical composition and nutritional proprieties of the main food productions: vegetable oils, milk and wine. (0.5 ECTS)


Development of the examination

Learning evaluation methods

Oral discussion on the subjects listed in the teaching program.


Learning evaluation criteria

The student will have to demonstrate knowledge of: (a) chemical composition of vegetable and animal foods; (b) main chemical transformation that occur during the technological treatment of the food; (c) nutritional value of foods; (e) appropriate usage of technical terminology.


Learning measurement criteri

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 five questions concerning the subjects listed in the teaching program, each of ones will be quantified in the range 0 - 6. 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 identify what are the positive and negative attributes of a food depending on its composition.


Recommended reading


P. Cappelli, V. Vannucchi, "Chimica degli alimenti. Conservazione e trasformazioni", Zanichelli (1994), Bologna

P. Cabras, A.Martelli, "Chimica degli alimenti” Piccin Nuova Libraria (2004), Padova

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

Università Politecnica delle Marche
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