Basic knowledge of general biochemistry and related subjects (physics, inorganic and organic chemistry), cellular organization, biology of living organisms, and microbiology.
Verification of learning outcomes will take place through a written exam aiming at assessing the skills achieved by the student in relation to the aforementioned educational goals for each teaching module. The exam for each module will consist of one question for each ECTS (maximum score of 16 for the Nutrition and Food Biochemistry modules, and the same maximum score for the Food Biotechnology module).
The outcome of the exam will be out of thirty. The final score will be the sum of the scores obtained in each module tests. The exam is passed if the student has scored: greater than or equal to 9 in the test of Food Biochemistry and Nutrition; greater than or equal to 9 in the test of Food Biotechnology module. To pass the exam, both conditions must be met. Students who get a score of at least 18/30 in one of the modules may give only the exam of the other module in one of the subsequent sessions.
The criteria according to which the knowledge and skills acquired will be assessed are:
1. the degree of depth to which the response addresses the subject matter question;
2. the critical ability to re-elaborate and link the knowledge acquired regarding the theoretical basis of nutrition and the problems related to food biotechnology;
3. the ability to apply the knowledge acquired to develop a food biotechnology project;
4. the ability to propose solutions to specific problems through the use of the tools discussed during teaching;
5. the clarity of the concepts presented and the properties of the terminology used.
The main aim of this teaching course is to provide basic knowledge on the use of biotechnological approaches in the food sector. Indeed, it is an integrated course, which aims to achieve its main learning objective, through a multidisciplinary approach.
The Nutrition module (1 ECTS) aims to present the molecular mechanisms that regulate the feeding-fasting cycle and the role of the main components of the diet. The Food Biochemistry module (2 ECTS) aims to present in detail the role of proteins in determining the properties of foods (both from a nutritional and safety point of view) and the main structural, compositional and functional modifications they undergo during domestic and industrial transformation treatments or during transit through the human body.
The teaching module of Food Biotechnology (3 ECTS) will provide students with basic knowledge on the production processes of a number of foods and on the vast variety of biotechnological applications in "food supply chain". The student is expected to gain knowledge about the biological and biotechnological basics of the most common modern technologies that are applied to the production, transformation and preservation of foods as well as knowledge about the physical and chemical factors that determine the quality of foods. Students will also acquire knowledge about the analytical methods that are used in the analysis of different foods with the aim to guarantee a highly qualitative level of such products. Students are also expected to acquire ability to search and identify the best biotechnological solutions for food traceability and quality improvement.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- describe the fundamental elements of food biochemistry as a basis for understanding the main physiological mechanisms of assimilation, transformation and excretion of nutrients;
- apply the knowledge acquired from the biochemistry of metabolism and food biotechnology to the analysis of the molecular basis of the functionality of the human body and of some pathologies and dysfunctions related to nutrition;
- critically discuss the correlations between foods and (alterations of) metabolic processes and the needs of biotechnological applications;
- use the knowledge acquired to critically evaluate the objectives and/or results of a (agro) food project in qualitative and quantitative terms;
- use the knowledge of food biotechnology to understand the molecular basis of some human pathologies and food-related dysfunctions;
- develop biotechnological approaches for the development of innovative (agro) food products;
- critically discuss a study related to the food sector with a biotechnological approach;
- communicate effectively and with the correct terminology the basis of the discipline, both orally and in writing, extracting and summarizing the relevant information from the scientific literature.