cod. 1004473

Academic year 2019/20
5° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Chimica degli alimenti (CHIM/10)
Discipline chimiche, farmaceutiche e tecnologiche
Type of training activity
64 hours
of face-to-face activities
8 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The aim of the course is to give to the students knowledge about chemical structures and properties of food components, food technology and food modifications, making a close examination of the food products destined to special diets and to subjects with pathologies.
The expected learning outcomes are:
1. Knowledge and understanding: Knowledge of molecular composition of food and understanding of interaction between components. Acquire the notions about the chemical reactions of transformation (desired and non) of food components. Understanding the diverse nutritional needs according to particular physical or pathological conditions. Acquisition of notions related to the specific composition of dietary products and dietary supplements. Knowledge of the laws and terminology of the discipline
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: Ability to recognize the possible modification of a food or a specific nutrient according to the process. Ability to recognize the function of each component in a formulation of dietetic products and to identify the components modified and adapted to a specific pathology / physiological condition. Ability to recognize the nutritional / physiological properties and the end use of a dietary supplement.
3. Communication skills: Ability to expose the results of the studies to the public and in particular the issues of composition, nutritional value of foods, peculiarities and the use of a dietary product and a dietary supplement
4. Making judgments: Ability to make an assessment of the nutritional value of a food or a process of transformation. Evaluation of the suitability of a dietary product / food supplement for use by a specific individual.
5. Learning Skills: Ability to synthesize and link the different topics discussed with the related disciplines


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Course unit content

Definitions. Common foods, functional foods, food for special diets, food supplements.
Inorganic components of foods. Water in foods, water activity, mineral waters. Mineral elements: macroelements and microelements. Food supplements based on minerals.
Carbohydrates: structure and reactivity of monosaccharide; disaccharides, oligosaccharides, poliols, polysaccharides, starch; dietary fiber, cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin, gums; nutritional aspects of carbohydrates; reactions of carbohydrates in acidic/basic environment and during heat treatments; formation of hydroxymethylfurfural, lactulose, caramelization.
Proteins: amino acids, peptides, protein structure and classification; essential amino acids and nutritional quality of proteins; foods rich in protein; protein modification during food processing, formation of isopeptides, lysinoalanine, furosine, Maillard reactions. Amino acids supplements
Lipids: classification and properties; fatty acids, essential fatty acids, trans-fatty acids; triglycerides, glycerophospholipids, waxes, sterols; nutritional properties of lipids; chemical reactions of lipids in foods, isomerisation, hydrolysis, oxidation; antioxidants.
Vitamins: classification, biological functions and presence in foods. Food supplements of vitamins
Food colour: natural and artificial colorants.
Food flavour.
Physical and chemical methods for food preservation, food additives.
Xenobiotics and natural toxicants in foods.
Principal foods: fats and oils (olive oil, seed oils); milk and dairy products (butter, cheese, yogurt); meat, fish, egg; cereals and derived products; legumes, fruit and vegetables; alcoholic beverages and vinegar.
Food, energy and balanced diet; diets in special physiological conditions.
Food products for special diets: infant foods, hypo-caloric foods, food for particular pathologies, foods for high muscular activity, foods for diabetics.
Food supplements, functional foods, prebiotics, probiotics

Full programme

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P. Cappelli, V. Vannucchi. "Chimica degli alimenti - Conservazione e trasformazioni“. Ed. Zanichelli (Bologna, 2000)

• P. Cabras, A. Martelli. "Chimica degli alimenti“. Ed. Piccin (Padova, 2004)

• H.D. Belitz, W. Grosch, P. Schieberle. “Food Chemistry, 3° revised edition”. Springer-Verlag Ed. (Berlin, Germany, 2004)
F. Evangelisti, P. Restani. "Prodotti dietetici (Chimica, tecnologia ed impiego)". Ed. Piccin (Padova, 2003)

Teaching methods

Teaching is done through frontal lessons (64 hours, corresponding to 8 CFUs)
The student is required to retrieve and understand the content transmitted during the frontal lessons, both through the study of the notes and through the consultation of textbooks.
The teacher is available for individual explanation during the classes, at the end of lessons or by appointment (by e-mail).
The teacher also uses supplementary teaching material (slide of lessons) loaded on the Elly platform.
On the Elly platform are also uploaded some texts of the written examinations as example.

Assessment methods and criteria

In order to achieve the final vote, the student must demonstrate that he understands and is able to apply the fundamental concepts of each topic.
Assessment of learning involves the conduction of a written examination (1 hour and 30 minutes) consisting of:
-5 open questions about the first part of the program (food chemistry), each of which contributes 3 points to the final vote.
-30 multiple-choice questions regarding the second part of the program (dietary products) with a total weight of 15 points. To each correct answer is assigned a score of 0.5 points, zero points to the unanswered question and -0.125 points to the wrong answer. Each question has four possible answers and only one is the correct one.
The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths, with a minimum vote of 18/30 for the sufficiency. There is no way to improve the evaluation of the written examination with an oral examination.

Other information

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