cod. 1008415

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
- Antonio PRODI - Emilio STEFANI
Academic discipline
Patologia vegetale (AGR/12)
Discipline delle tecnologie alimentari
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student will be able to know and
1) Main legislation on pesticide use and limitations
2) Correct use of pesticides in agricultural production
3) The impact of pesticide and mycotoxins on food security and food
4) The significance and properties of mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi
5) Major issues associated with mycotoxin analysis and contamination
along the food chains.
6) Main legislation on mycotoxins limitations
Applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1) Apply acquired knowledge to develop and implement strategies for
monitoring and surveillance of pesticide and mycotoxins contamination in
vegetable food.
2) Develop risk analysis procedures (assessment and management)
related to pesticide contamination.
Making judgements
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1) Assess products in term of quality and safety related to pesticide and
mycotoxin contamination
2) Assess environmental impact of pesticide use in agricultural systems
Communication skills
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1) Use of scientific language appropriately, and the specific lexicon to
describe and transfer in oral and written form the acquired concepts.
2) Efficiently communicate risks posed by pesticide residues and
mycotoxins to consumers.
Learning skills
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
1) Increase his/her knowledge on safety problems raised by the use of
pesticides and mycotoxins and their possible presence in food as residues
or contaminants, by self-consultation of specialized texts, scientific and
educational journals, also beyond the topics discussed during the lessons.
2) Increase his/her ability to suggest sustainable alternatives to
3) Understand the impact of cropping systems and post-harvest
management on the development of mycotoxins.


Plant Pathology

Course unit content

Pesticides: definition, use in agriculture, target species, classification,
toxicity, hazard and risk. International conventions: Rotterdam,
Stockholm, Basel. Adverse effects of chemical pesticides on the
environment and the general public: notes on environmental toxicology
and safety issues for consumers. Environmental pathways and fate of
chemical pesticides: evaluation and impact assessment. Harmonised
risks indicators. Use of microbial biocontrol agents in agriculture and
associated risks. Pesticides in food and feed commodities: MRLs,
Admissible Daily Intake (ADI), IqR related to food safety. Development
and implementation of strategies for detecting pesticides in food
matrices. How to raise awareness of risks in the general public. How to
correctly communicate data on food safety related to the use of
pesticides in agriculture.
Mycotoxins: definition, classification, toxicity, hazard and risk. Fungi
mycotoxin producers and plant disease associated, factors affecting
growth of fungi in foods, prevent and control fungal growth in foods and
food processing environments. Mycotoxins presence in economically
important food and feed chains (maize, wheat, barley, apple, dried fruits
and grape) in pre and post-harvest, mitigation strategies and
detoxification treatments on mycotoxin contamination. EU legislation
concerning mycotoxins in food and feed; methods to analyze for
mycotoxins in foods; economic impact of mycotoxins.

Full programme

- - -


George N. Agrios, PLANT PATHOLOGY, 5TH EDITION, Elsevier, 2004
EU Pesticide database. In: pesticides-database/public/?event=homepage&language=EN
PESTICIDES EU-MRLs - Regulation (EC) No 396/2005
Randall C, et al. (2014). "Pest Management". National Pesticide Applicator
Certification Core Manual (2nd ed.). Washington: National Association of
State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation.
"Pesticide Applicator Core Tutorial: Module 4 - Toxicity of Pesticides".
Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). Cornell University. In:
World Health Organisation (WHO), Pesticides. In:

Teaching methods

The lessons will be held with the support of power point presentations.
Working groups may be organised on specific topics of interest for the
students, mainly on mycotoxin contaminating food and feed.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam will be oral, with questions on the main course topics.

Other information

Lesson attendance is not mandatory, but strongly encouraged.