cod. 1001783

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - First semester
Eleonora CARINI
Academic discipline
Scienze e tecnologie alimentari (AGR/15)
Discipline delle tecnologie alimentari
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: -
course unit

Integrated course unit module: STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES 'NATURAL FOODS

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding: the course aims to enable the student to acquire knowledge for a in-depth understanding of factors influencing macroscopic properties, stability and microstructure of food products and analytical techniques for the physical characterization of food matrices.

Applying knowledge and understanding: the course aims to make the student able to apply the acquired concepts in food industry for the evaluation and control of physico-chemical stability and structure of foods.
Making judgments: based on the information acquired, the course intends to provide students with the tools useful to critically discuss food structure in relation to their stability, and the choice of proper analytical techniques to study such factors.
Communication skills: the course intends to provide the student with a proper technical-scientific language useful for the communication to the sector experts and not experts.
Learning skills: the course aims to provide the student with the learning skills necessary to study in a widely autonomous way, by searching for case studies that are discussed in class.


Unit operations of food technologies and food processes.

Course unit content

- Introduction
- Amorphous and crystalline states
- Application of phase transition in food products and processes
- Thermal analysis (DSC, TGA and DMA)
- Water status and stability in food
- Microscopy
- Structure-functionality relationship

Full programme

- Introduction
- Crystalline and amorphous state, phases, first and second order phase transitions, phase transition in food, phase transitions in food products and processes.
- Water state in different structural levels and food stability
- Thermal analysis: DSC, TGA, DMA and application on food products.
- Microstructure characterization: optical and electronic microscopy
- Structure-nutritional, technological and sensorial functionality relationship


- .pptx presentations used during the lessons.
- Chapters 4,5 and 13 of the text “Food Materials Science: Principles and Practice (Food Engineering Series), Aguilera, Lillford, 2008, Springer”
To deepen the study:
- Food texture and viscosity, concept and measurement, 2nd edition, Bourne, Academic Press, Food Science and Technology, International Series
- Non-Equilibrium States and Glass Transitions in Foods, 1st Edition, Processing Effects and Product-Specific Implications, Eds. Bhesh Bhandari Yrjö Roos.
- Phase Transitions In Foods, Roos, 1995, Academic Press
- Physical properties of foods: novel measurement techniques and applications Arana, 2012, CRC Press.

Teaching methods

The lessons will be organized face-to-face. During the lessons, face-to-face situations will be alternated with interactive situations.
Seminars and the individual reading and class discussion of scientific articles will be offered.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a single written test with open questions (8) during the regular exam sessions, carried out at the same time as those of the Physical Chemistry module.
In the case of a positive result, the grade in the module will contribute to the final result for the "Structure and Physical Properties of Food" exam, whose final grade is the average of the marks reported in the two modules.
In case of refusal of the grade, the test (s) previously taken are cancelled, if sustained.
The tests will focus on verifying the level of acquired knowledge by the student and the ability to apply such knowledge to the solution of case studies. Moreover, it will be also evaluated the technical-scientific language acquired.

Other information

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