cod. 1011411

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Nutrizione e alimentazione animale (AGR/18)
"altre conoscenze utili per l'inserimento nel mondo del lavoro"
Type of training activity
36 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: FEED QUALITY AND RUMINANT NUTRITION

Learning objectives

D1 – Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course the student will have to demonstrate that he is able to know and understand:
1. The main elements of evaluation of feed for ruminants
2. The production cycle of the dairy cow, from calf to dry-period.
3. The chemical-physical and technological properties of bovine, sheep, goat and buffalo milk.
4. The main intrinsic and extrinsic factors that determine the variations of milk quantity and quality.
5. The influence of diet on the amount of milk fat, its ability to surface and its fatty acid composition.
6. The influence of nutrition on protein quantity, milk acidity and milk clotting.
7. The influence of diet on the mineral content of milk and their effect on the technological characteristics.
8. Physiological principles underlying the ejection of milk and the incidence of milking on the of hygiene and quality of milk.
9. effect of stress factors (illness, heat, etc.) on the production and chemical-physical characteristics of the milk
10. Influence of diet on the content of unwanted substances (heavy metals; toxins) and clostridial spores in milk.
11. The main chemical-physical and technological characteristics of sheep, goat and buffalo milk.
12. Food criteria and feeding technologies that reduce the production of methane and ammonia by ruminants.

D2 – applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, with the knowledge acquired, the student will have to demonstrate that he is able to:
1. Recognize any dietary errors from the composition of the milk.
2. Contribute to the resolution of nutritional problems.
3. Knowing how to detect and interpret the main parameters that describe the quality of the milk.
4. Evaluate whether a diet in terms of composition and nutritional characteristics has the requisites to contain the production of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).

D3 – Making judgements
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
1. Evaluate the dietary requirements af a dairy cow.
2. Make decision on dietary variations to correct the quality of the milk.
3. Make decision on food variations to minimize the production of climate gases.

D4 – Communication skills
At the end of the course the student must demonstrate that he/she is able to:
1. clearly and with appropriate terms to describe concepts concerning the characteristics of milk.
2. read, translate, interpret and summarize scientific articles written in Italian and English.

D5 – Learning skills
At the end of the course the student:
1. will have objective knowledge of the topics and mastery of the topics;
2. critical ability in choosing the species and/or breeds for a particular environment to produce particular cheeses;
3. knowledge of the critical points of milk production;
4. clearly expose the topics relative to the course;
5. ability to respond exhaustively and directly to questions relating to the connection between different issues concerning milk production and environmental impact.


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Course unit content

The course aims to provide knowledge on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of dairy cow that determine the quantity and quality of milk, providing the student with the knowledge of the principles and physiological mechanisms that underlie them, in order to develop skills to identify and deal with the different problems that arise in the different types of livestock farms. All of this knowledge will provide students with the criteria for maximizing milk yield and product quality, thus making farming sustainable from both an environmental and an economic point of view. Criteria will also be provided for:
- milk safety management;
- define the most appropriate quality of milk for human consumption and cheeses production technologies;
- manage the feeding of ruminants to ensure the wholesomeness and hygiene of the milk produced;
- manage nutrition in order to maximize the use of nutrients and reduce the emission of climate-control gases and nitrogen in the air to minimize the environmental impact of dairy farms
- manage diets to reduce the contribution of dairy farming to water, soil and air contamination.

Full programme

Information on the national and world consistence of animal species and their main breeds utilised to produce human food. National production and consumption and supply sources. Social problems related to animal production (eco-sustainability, animal welfare, breeding systems).
Milk and derivatives. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors (with regard to nutrition) that influence the quality of milk, with particular regard to the composition of the fat and the rheological characteristics of the proteins.
Residues in foods of animal origin (drugs, pesticides, environmental pollutants). Growth promoters. Traceability of foods of animal origin.
Balance of carbohydrates and their fermentability with protein sources characterized by their different degradability and amino acid composition, in order to maximize the use of nutrients and to reduce the environmental impact of milk yield.
Outline of the impact of the different breeding regimes on the environmental costs and quality of products of animal origin.
Visit to farms and processing plants to examine the practical application of the theoretical statements presented during the lessons.


Annuario ASSALZOO, 2022
Produzioni Animali. A cura di Anna Sandrucci e Erminio Trevisi. 2022. EdiSES Università. Napoli
Giuseppe Bertoni. Ambiente, Alimentazione e Qualità del Latte. 1996. L’informatore Agrario, LII (Supplemento al n. 21)
Daniele Cevolani. Gli Alimenti per la vacca da latte. Materie prime e razioni per bovine ad alta produzione. 2006. Ed. Edagricole
BITTANTE G., ANDRIGHETTO L., RAMANZIN M.: Tecniche di produzione animale. Liviana Ed., Torino, 1993.
L'ALIMENTAZIONE DELLA VACCA DA LATTE AL PASCOLO. Riflessi zootecnici, agro-ambientali e sulla tipicità delle produzioni. 2005. Quaderno SOZOOALP n.2. www.sozooalp.it

Teaching methods

The course is divided into lectures in the classroom during which the key elements of the factors affecting the quality and safety of milk will be exposed and discussed. Ample space will be dedicated to interaction with students. During the lessons, PowerPoint aids will be projected, which will also be made available to the students. During the course visits will be made to livestock and processing companies to examine the practical application of the theoretical statements presented during the lessons.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of knowledge acquired will take place through an oral interview which will consist of at least three questions that will concern the learning outcomes described by the indicator D1 and part of those described by the indicators D2, D3, D4 and D5, from which further specific questions may arise.

Other information

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