cod. 1009603

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and ability to understand: (I Dublin Descriptor)
At the end of the course, the student will have integrated their basic knowledge on natural phenomena concerning the transformation of matter; will have a complete overview of the laws governing the structure of the atom, molecules and compounds; will know the theoretical reasons and the laws underlying the reactivity of substances. He will have acquired awareness of the problems relating to the nature and properties of the main commonly used materials. Each student must have acquired basic knowledge in the field of thermodynamics and heat transmission. At the end of the course the student will be able to know the basics of technical physics; understand the problems related to the study of the thermal properties of bodies and of the phenomena that involve heat exchange.
He will have integrated his basic knowledge on natural phenomena concerning food processing; will have a complete overview of the laws that regulate the development of microorganisms and the effects of their growth in different food matrices.

Skills: (II Descriptor: Ability to apply knowledge and understanding)
At the end of the course the student will have developed the ability to understand some chemical and physical characteristics of substances, such as state of aggregation, volatility and miscibility in water based on the knowledge of their structure. He/she will know how to take stock of the spontaneity of chemical and electrochemical processes. He/she will be able to predict the acidic or basic environment induced during a chemical transformation. He/she will have developed the ability to identify materials compatible with food and safe for the consumer. He/she will be able to critically analyze the tables of the various properties of the materials. Will be able to distinguish the fields of application of the main classes of materials: metals, polymers and ceramics. Will have developed the ability to understand some intrinsic characteristics of foods and fermented foods.

Autonomy of judgment: (III, IV, V Dublin descriptor)
At the end of the course the student will have to possess the tools to critically evaluate a chemical transformation. Will have to possess the tools to design products with a critical conscience in choosing the right materials to obtain certain performances. Will have to possess the tools to critically evaluate the bases of food production.
Communication skills: (III, IV, V Dublin descriptor)
At the end of the course the student should have acquired sufficient language skills, at least as regards the specific technological terminology of the teachings.


Course unit content

The Laboratory of Materials and Technologies for the Sustainable Food System aims to provide the following knowledge to design students:
- solid scientific chemical bases for understanding of materials properties that will be studied in the following modules;
- technical-scientific tools to broaden the cultural bases of the designer allowing him/her a conscious management of the technical functionalities of the materials used and the potential of transformation technologies to put them at the service of his own creativity;
- basic knowledge in the field of thermodynamics and heat transmission;
- elements of microbiology for the quality and safety of food products.

Full programme


The reference texts are reported in the syllabus of each respective module of the laboratory.

Teaching methods

The knowledge and skills are acquired by the students, for each training area, through:
(i) Frontal lessons in the classroom using the projection of slides. The teaching material will be provided on the “Elly” platform (;
(ii) Exercises and review moments (single and collective) in the classroom dedicated to the final presentation held by the Laboratory.
The details in terms of CFU of the division of this structure are reported in the Syllabus of each module of the Laboratory.

Assessment methods and criteria

The evaluation of learning takes place through an assessment of knowledge structured as follows:
1) Assessment of learning skills: a written test will be carried out, by each student, as a preliminary access test to the final exam, which corresponds to the assessment of the skills acquired in the context of each module related to the Laboratory. The test will consist in closed-ended questions in a number proportional to the CFU of the individual modules. This evaluation makes up approximately 1/3 of the Laboratory's vote.
2) Assessment of application skills: groups of students will be offered the development of a design analysis to verify the effective assimilation of the notions of the individual modules by applying them to a specific topic or case study proposed by the teachers. Each year, a field of study dedicated to a specific category of products within the food system will be proposed. An evaluation (on a scale from 0 to 30) will then be carried out by the teachers on the final materials (product analysis) delivered by each student group at the end of the integrated laboratory, which will also be the subject of a public presentation by the respective groups. This evaluation represents approximately 2/3 of the final mark.
The vote of each laboratory will be unique and will represent the summary of the individual votes and the presentation of the project. To access the Laboratory exam, it is necessary that the assessments of the four Laboratory modules are all sufficient.

Other information

It is strongly advised to attend the course. The presence of all members of the working groups is required during the design analysis reviews.