Course unit partition: Cognomi M-Z

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - Annual
Academic discipline
Chimica degli alimenti (CHIM/10)
Ambito aggregato per crediti di sede
Type of training activity
90 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
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course unit

Learning objectives

The objective is to expand the student's knowledge about chemical analysis of food. the course aims to provide the basic notions on the main basic and instrumental analytical techniques that are applied to analyze a food, characterize it and then get to know its contents in depth. The course deals in particular with the basic analytical techniques for the analysis of a food matrix, to move on to instrumental analytical techniques and finally to the critical treatment of the data obtained. In addition, the aspects related to the possible modifications that can occur in a food during its transformation and processing are examined in detail. Expected results are: 1) Comprehension skills, regarding analytical parameters to determine and protocols to apply for a qualitative and/or quantitative food characterization. Ability to use specific terms related to food chemistry. 2) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: capacity to manage the main topics of the course with the aim to take own decision about tests to apply. 3) Comunication skills: appropriate use of scientific terms and ability in describing the main topics. 4) Making judgements: capacity to choose methods to apply to fully characterize a food matrix. 5) Learning ability: Exposure, interpretation and reflection, on examination, the topics discussed in the course.


Knowledge of general, organic, analytical and food chemistry acquired in previous / contemporary courses

Course unit content

The course aims to provide students the basic knowledge of laboratory techniques ranging from general chemistry to analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, food chemistry and instrumental techniques used in a food chemistry laboratory.
The first lessons cover general topics relating to techniques and instruments used in a chemical-food laboratory. The second part of the course is dedicated to the treatment and application of specific methods for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of foods. In the first part of the course, in fact, methods and protocols which involve a limited number of steps are described, and then more complex experiments and instrumental techniques will be studied. The last exercises are dedicated to the treatment of the data collected during the experiments.

Full programme

Different techniques will be considered for: preparing and analyzing solutions, extraction and chromatographic separation, synthesis of food-interest molecules, extraction and purification or reaction products, food analysis techniques, and finally techniques for treating of the data obtained from the analysis.
The course includes: the study of the preparation and analysis of standard solutions; extraction of active compounds from food matrices and characterization of the extracts by instrumental analyses; study of natural additives such as colorants; methods for the determination of sugars in a food matrix; methods for the determination of amino acids and proteins in foods; study of thermal processes (Maillard reaction); analysis of the fat component; emulsifier and foaming properties; use of instrumental techniques such as Soxhlet and Kjeldhal methodologies, UV-Visible spectrophotometry, gas-chromatography; methods for data treatment.


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Teaching methods

The course will be carried out through lessons and exercises in the classroom (and/or simultaneous on-line synchronous lesson, if necessary); the lessons will be held with the help of slides that will represent didactic material, in addition to the recommended texts. The slides will be available online on the website in pdf format for students, together with the registration of the lesson. During the lessons, the appropriate use of technical language will be reiterated, and the links between the various parts of the course will be emphasized. For this reason, the presence and active participation of students is strongly encouraged, especially as regards practical exercises.
The course includes indeed laboratory practices on the main topics and methods of food analysis that are the basis of research in the field of food chemistry.
The content of the practical lessons, held in the classroom and in the laboratory, will be an integral part of the final evaluation.

Assessment methods and criteria

In order to assess the understanding of the topics illustrated during the course, both in the classroom and in the laboratory practice phases, and the student's ability to independently rework the concepts, the exam is divided into 2 parts:
1. Oral exam: consisting of open-ended questions regarding the topics covered in the course, for a maximum of 24 total points. The questions verify the achievement of the minimum knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the course and may include one or two calculation exercises. The exam is considered passed at the minimum threshold of 14.5 points.
2. Preparation of the laboratory notebook: the laboratory notebook requires the student to draw up a report for each of the practical experiences carried out in the laboratory. In each report, the procedures carried out to carry out the experiment must be indicated and well described, the fundamental steps that made it possible to achieve the results obtained, including good safety and prevention standards, any calculations carried out, the results obtained and comments / conclusions. The notebook will be evaluated in order to verify the understanding of the experiments carried out and the ability to evaluate the results obtained. The laboratory notebook can be drawn up using normal writing software and must be sent to the teacher by e-mail at least 10 working days before the date on which the oral exam is scheduled. Maximum points: 6.
The final exit of the exam will be given by the sum of the score obtained in the oral exam and that obtained from the evaluation of the laboratory notebook.
The exam results are published on the ESSE3 portal ( within a reasonable time compatible with the number of students enrolled or in any case within 10-15 days from the date of the exam. .
The grade obtained in the module will account for 50% of the final grade of the integrated course.

Other information

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