cod. 1006164

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - First semester
- Sandra VATTINI
Academic discipline
Scienze tecniche mediche applicate (MED/50)
"scienze della prevenzione nell'ambiente e nei luoghi di lavoro"
Type of training activity
14 hours
of face-to-face activities
2 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit


Learning objectives

The teaching module aims to provide the fundamental knowledge and understanding in relation to the biochemical processes that characterize the nourishment and nutrition in the human body, as well as to deepen the complex issue of food and nutritional safety, in relation to the official control activities in food hygiene. In this context, the chemical-physical and qualitative characteristics of the nutritive principles and of the main classes of foods, the nutritional characteristics of foods, the functional and protective properties, the fundamental aspects of preventive dietetics are set out. The study of food safety issues contributes to the reinforcement of the regulatory contents dealt with in the field of integrated training activity and aims to develop, in particular, the methodology and the specific tools of inspection control in food hygiene. The prerequisites are represented by the knowledge of biology, chemistry and biochemistry.


The prerequisites are represented by the knowledge of biology, chemistry and biochemistry

Course unit content

The initial part of the teaching module starts from the presentation of the Company Food Hygiene and Nutrition Service with the relevant activities; then general topics of preventive medicine and public health are treated such as nutrition in today's society, man's interaction with food, the general principles of food science and human nutrition; an in-depth study of nutrients, their biochemical and nutritional properties, their specific functions on human nutrition. The second part of the teaching module deals with the complex issue of food toxicology through an in-depth study of the characteristics of food contaminants and toxicological evaluation; the third part of the teaching module deals with food safety combined with nutritional safety, included in the reference national and EU Community regulatory framework, updated to the most recent sector laws and procedures.

Full programme

1. Public health in the third millennium: interrelation between systems. Presentation of the Food Hygiene and Nutrition Service with the activities. The LEAs of competence and related functions. Introduction and general information on food and nutrition. Nutrients: macro and micronutrients. Risk factors in public health and obesity prevention. I LARN; Approach to Caloric Demand and Energy Expenditure: measurement methods and factors that influence it. Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, chemical - physical characteristics, classification, nutritional properties, needs; monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides, polyalcohols. Dietary fiber. Vitamins: chemical - physical characteristics and nutritional properties, classification and requirements; water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. 2. The functional groups of biomolecular interest; i Lipids: general information and classification. Saponifying lipids: fatty acids. The main fatty acids, notes on position and geometric stereoisomerism. The nomenclature of fatty acids. Essential fatty acids. Acylglycerols and their function. Phospholipids, Phosphatidylcholines, Sphingolipids, Glycolipids and their respective functions, Sterids and Cholesterol. Non-saponifying lipids: general features and classification; corticoid and sexual hormones, Eicosanoids. The functions of lipids and their nutritional properties, digestion and absorption. Lipoproteins. 3. Amino acids and proteins. Chemical characteristics and functions. Protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. Examples of proteins of organic interest. Protein classification. The biological value of proteins. The nutritional properties, the protein requirement. Mineral salts or trace elements: nutritional properties, needs and dietary sources. Introduction to food and nutrition security: food safety and food security. The Health Profile: the Integrated Regional Control Plan; the microbiological and chemical risk related to food. Food Security: fortified, enriched and supplemented foods, "light" foods and food supplements. The "Novel Food" (Reg. CE n.258 / 97). 4. Food toxicology: characteristics of contamination; xenobiotics: definition and chemical characteristics; the toxicological evaluation. Bacterial toxins: characteristics and classification; mycotoxins: characteristics; contamination and types of mycotoxins; aflatoxins; ochratoxins; molecules of toxicological interest: nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines; nitrosocomposite inhibitors; Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons; fat oxidation products and radical oxidation reaction; the oxysterols; the Endocrine Interferents and MOCA. Alcohol and alcohol metabolism; the official control of water intended for human consumption.


1. Bibliographic updates of the AME - Italian Association of Medical Endocrinologists; 2. Diseases of the endocrine system and metabolism (G. Faglia, 2013); 3. Manual of Applied Nutrition (Riccardi - Pacioni, 2013); 4. Textbook of Endocrinology - 12th Edition - 2012 (Williams); 5. Food Chemistry (Cappelli - Vannucchi, 2016); 6. Nutrition and Human Nutrition (Cannella - Mariani Costantini, 2006); 7. Guidelines for a healthy Italian diet - CREA, 2018; 8. I LARN - Italian Nutrition Society (SINU) - 2014; 9. Food toxicology (Dugo - Restani, 2000); 10. Principles of biochemistry (A.L. Lehninger); 11. Updated European Community legislation of the "Food Safety"; 12. Regional document "Technical Protocol for risk categorization" on the subject of official control on Food Sector Operators updated to October 2017; the Health Profile and the Integrated Regional Plan of the 2015-2018 checks, updated to the year 2020.

Teaching methods

In relation to the educational objectives outlined above, the teaching of the course takes place through the implementation of lectures conducted with the help of slides and texts; similarly, during the teaching module, students are invited to participate in in-depth seminars related to the techniques of official food hygiene control. During the lessons, moreover, debate and discussions are held regarding the thematic areas covered by the didactic module. The student at the end of the course, also using the knowledge of biology, general chemistry and biochemistry already acquired previously, will have to highlight knowledge and understanding skills in relation to the biochemistry of nutrition and food, the nutritional principles and their use at internal processes of intermediate metabolism. Furthermore, through the knowledge and understanding also exercised in group activities, the student will have to identify the critical elements related to the analysis and assessment of food hygiene risk, elaborate the basic criteria for carrying out the official control activity, including the use of appropriate documentation.

Assessment methods and criteria

The learning outcomes are assessed through an oral exam which aims to ascertain the achievement of knowledge and understanding of all the contents of the training module.

Other information