cod. 1008414

Anno accademico 2023/24
2° anno di corso - Primo semestre
Settore scientifico disciplinare
Entomologia generale e applicata (AGR/11)
Discipline delle tecnologie alimentari
Tipologia attività formativa
52 ore
di attività frontali
6 crediti

Obiettivi formativi

Acquire knowledge on the major animal pests (invertebrates and vertebrates) in stored agri-food products; learn pest prevention and monitoring methods as well as integrated and sustainable pest control strategies; be able to implement the knowledge and techniques acquired, in relation to specific circumstances.


Entomology (highly recommended)

Contenuti dell'insegnamento

The number of credits for each activity of the program, which may vary according to the learning time of the students, will be indicatively articulated as follows.
Stored food products as ecosystems. Animal pests in stored products and in food production / processing / storage facilities. Types and extent of damages caused by animal pests on foodstuffs. Key features of arthropod pests: the importance of temperature and humidity. Basics of forensic entomology. Health issues related to animal pests of foodstuff - direct and indirect effects.
ARTHROPODS (insects and mites) (1,5 CFU, 12 hours)
Review of basic concepts of entomology. Description of main arthropods associated with stored products, food processing and storage facilities (Zygentoma, Blattodea, Orthoptera, Psocoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Acaridida). For pest species: identification, bio-ecology and behavior, commodities attacked, types of damage, economic and health importance. Arthropods useful as biocontrol agents. Insects as food and feed: nutritional value, safety issues, sustainability of insect farming.
VERTEBRATES (rodents, birds) (0,5 CFU, 4 hours)
Main vertebrate pests in stored products, food processing and storage facilities: rodents (Muridae) and birds (Columbidae). Description of their identification, bio-ecology and behavior, commodities attacked, types of damage, economic and health importance.
APPLIED SECTION (Theoretical part: 2 CFU, 16 hours; Practical part of laboratory exercises and field visit: 1 CFU, 12 hours)
Biocoenosis in the main food chains. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and HACCP for arthropods: monitoring devices and techniques (passive and active). Methods for insect detection (visual, sieving, calorimetric, respirometric, biological method, Berlese funnel method, ninhidrin, acoustic method, X-ray radiography, NIMR, olfactory methods, machine vision, conductance-based methods; FILTH-TEST, analyses of insect traces). How to obtain and use monitoring data: hazard analysis. Prevention techniques and methods: general hygiene and sanitation standards, adequate plant design, food protection and packaging materials. Pest management using bio-rational approaches: a) physical methods: heat and cold, centrifugal force, desiccation by abrasive dusts, electromagnetic radiations, controlled and modified atmospheres; b) Bio-based methods: biocontrol agents (predators, parasitoids, entomopathogens), use of pheromones and other semiochemicals (Biotechnical methods: mass-trapping, mating disruption, attract & kill), botanicals. Pest management using chemical control: the biocides regulation, insecticide treatments and grain protectants, fumigants and fumigation, pesticide resistance. Decision making. Prevention, monitoring and integrated management of rodents.

Programma esteso

See Course content


Didactic material taken from the lectures, scientific articles.
Testi per approfondimenti/ Texts for further information:
• Athanassiou C. G., Arthur F. H. (Eds.), Recent Advances in Stored Product Protection, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2018. Available at Biblioteca di Reggio Emilia
• D.W. Hagstrum, B. Subramanyam, Fundamentals of Stored Product Entomology. Amer. Assn. of Cereal Chemists Ed., 2008. Available on-line.
• Hill D.E. Kluver, Pests of Stored Foodstuffs and their Control. Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (NL), 2002.
• Domenichini G., Atlante delle impurità solide negli alimenti. (Ed.). Chiriotti Editori, Pinerolo, 1997. Available at Biblioteca di Reggio Emilia

Metodi didattici

Face-to-face lessons with Powerpoint and scientific videos (5 CFU, 40 hours).
Practical part (face-to-face) (1CFU Laboratory, 12 hours): a) laboratory exercises with stereomicroscope observations of the most common pests of stored food products and their damage; b) technical visit with a pest control professional consultant to agro-food companies to show how to identify potential infestation critical points, prevention techniques, active and passive monitoring and management strategies of arthropods and vertebrates in food production/processing/storage facilities.
The course is held in English. Attendance is not compulsory, but strongly recommended. The course will be delivered at the Reggio Emilia headquarters, at Pad. Besta.

Modalità verifica apprendimento

A final oral exam of about 30 minutes in total, which consists of two phases: a) a 10-minute presentation with in-depth analysis on a topic of the course chosen by the student, agreed with the teacher; b) three questions on topics covered in the lessons.
Phase a) allows to verify the ability of exposure and synthesis; the ability to deepen and critical analysis in applying the skills acquired and developing solutions independently; intrinsic communication skills. Phase b) allows to ascertain the knowledge acquired by spanning the entire program of the course and to verify understanding the topics covered.
The exams take place over the course of the academic calendar and for each session students must register using the ESSE3 platform. There are no intermediate evaluations.
Test assessment indicators: Ability to use knowledge (25%); Ability to connect knowledge (25%); Mastery of technical language (15%); Ability to discuss topics (20%); Ability to deepen the topics (15%).

Altre informazioni

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