General expected learning outcomes
The main educational objectives of the Course in Food Chemistry are to provide the student with knowledge regarding the chemical composition of foodstuffs, the influence of the different components on food properties and transformations related to production and conservation processes, and the most common diseases linked to the intake of specific nutrients / foods. The more specific objectives of course concern the acquisition of transversal skills related to the detailed knowledge of: structure and function of macro and micronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals), fibers and secondary metabolites; transformations of food components during storage and processes; dietetic products intended for individuals in particular physiological conditions or with metabolic disorders.

Specific expected learning outcomes
1. Knowledge and understanding
The knowledge and skills acquired during the Course will be usable by the professional figure in field of work thanks to the acquired critical and judgment skills useful to be able to suggest the use of specific foods for the nutritional intake and for the specific impact on health.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding
The expected learning outcomes, acquired during the course, will therefore allow the future professional figure to correlate and integrate the general aspects concerning the chemical composition of foods with the characteristics of specific food products, thus understanding the correlation between composition and quality and acquiring the ability to process the information on the label; to understand and predict transformations in food as a result of technological and conservation processes; propose dietetic products for pathologies connected with the intake of specific food components.
This knowledge is the basis for operating in a production, control and analysis context and for the design of new products and processes.

3. Making judgements
The course takes place in an alternation of lectures useful to address the concepts of basic theory and classroom presentations prepared by students on current topics concerning food, suitable for stimulating their critical-applicative and communication skills.

4. Communication skills
At the end of the course the student will be able to effectively communicate what has been learned during the course thanks also to the exercise performed with the presentations in the classroom on current topics concerning foodstuffs.

5. Learning skills
The student will be able to continue the study independently, thanks to the acquired skills and the concepts learned also regarding the methods of researching information on the food chemistry sector. During the course will be provided websites, bibliographic references and industry associations, possibly useful for developing collaborative relationships in the world of work. Based on the knowledge acquired, the graduate will have the necessary skills to be able to critically give indication in the field of foods related to health.





The course includes a general part and a special part.
In the general part, introductory concepts regarding the chemical composition of food and food safety are carried out. It is also highlighted the importance of a good diet for the well-being of persons and the existence of pathologies linked to the intake of specific nutrients.

In the special part some selected foods are treated highlighting their chemical composition, the health effects given by specific components and the analyses that are carried out to ensure authenticity and quality.

The articulation in the various topics is deeply interconnected, since the description of the foods in the special part will refer to the chemical composition, to the health properties or to the presence of problems related to the nutrients intake reported in the general part. However, an articulation of the various themes can be foreseen in the following number of hours (approximate values): point 1 = 30 hours; point 2 = 34
Compatibly with the needs of in-depth study presented by the students in the classroom, it is possible to foresee an articulation of the various themes in the following number of orientation hours: point 1 = 30 hours; point 2 = 34 hours
Foods and nutrients. Essential nutrients. Classifications of nutrients. Nutritional balance. Energy needs. Basal metabolism. Dietary guidelines. The recommended levels of intake of various nutrients for different age groups. Concept of alteration, adulteration and sophistication. Foodstuffs Labeling. Quality and authenticity. Genetically Modified Foods. Biological agriculture.
Carbohydrates. Classification and role. Structure and chemical-physical properties of the main monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Reactivity. Enzymes involved in the carbohydrate chemistry. Sweet taste substances: sweetening power and notes on the receptive theories. Natural and synthetic sweeteners. Dietary products for people with disorders in the carbohydrate metabolism (lactase deficiency, galactosemia, fructosemia).
The fiber. Definition. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Prebiotics and Probiotics. Functional properties of prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Lipids. General aspects, classes of compounds. Nomenclature, diffusion and physico-chemical properties of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Maltodextrins. Biological and nutritional role of lipids. Modifications induced in lipids from oxygen, light, heat, biocatalysts, etc. Evaluation of the conservation status of lipids.
Protein. Natural amino acids: nomenclature and structural classification. Physical properties and main reactivity. Essential amino acids. Limiting amino acid. Protein quality. Protein classes in foods and protein sources. Kjeldahl method. Determination of the amino acid sequence. Maillard reaction. Dietetic products for celiac disease.
Vitamins: Structure, main food sources, stability, biological function, absorption and quantitative determination of hydro- and liposoluble vitamins.
Inorganic component Main food sources
Water as food. Chemical-physical characteristics of water and properties of foods containing water. Water classification in food (total, free and bound). Water activity. Influence of water activity on food stability. Water intended for human consumption. Drinking water. Mineral waters.
Food Additives. Classification and requirements, Legislative aspects. Stabilizers. Antimicrobials. Natural and synthetic emulsifiers ..
Analytical methods in Food Analysis. Conventional methods and advanced methodologies.

Cereal and Cereal products
Generality. Composition of the main cereals. World and Italian cereal production. Wheat. Wheat classes. T. aestivum (common wheat) and T.durum (durum wheat). Structure and composition of wheat kernels. Classification of flour: evaluation methods. Pasta and bread. Bakery products (overview). Rice. Rice species. Treatments made to obtain the commercial product.

Vegetable oils and edible fats
Olive oils. Composition and classification. Main analyses foreseen by the European regulation for the determination of quality and genuineness.
Seed oils, hydrogenated fats and margarine: generality, production and refining technologies. Effects of technological treatments. Composition of the main seed oils.

Milk and derivatives
Definition. Composition with respect to milk protein and lipid fractions. Defects and alterations. Effect of heat treatments. Regulatory requirements. Milk cream: types and methods of production. Butter. Scheme of burrification processes. Cheese: Definition, historical outline, classification, composition. Transformations in cheese ripening. Maturity coefficient.

Adopted texts

L.Mannina, M.Daglia, A. Ritieni La Chimica e gli Alimenti (Casa Editrice Ambrosiana)

The Text is useful both for the general part and for the special part


The students should have some basics on organic chemistry. In order to better understand some specific concepts (auto and photo oxidation of lipids, reaction between sugars and proteins etc.) and to achieve easily the learning objectives, it would be important to know the chemical structure of sugars, lipids and proteins. Where the student can not attend the lessons, he/she must absolutely inform himself of what was made available and/or reported by the teacher, as material useful for learning purposes. This aspect must not be considered as an indispensable obligation, but as a prerequisite recommended to optimize the successful passing of the exam, to be taken at the end of the course.

Study modes

The adopted teaching method provides (for the greater number of hours) lectures. However, students are invited to make reports on current selected topics regarding foods The teaching methods chosen by the teacher contribute not only to the achievement of the planned training objectives, but also allow the student to deal with current important issues

Exam modes

The actual achievement of the expected learning outcomes by the student, in accordance with the training objectives, is evaluated through an oral exam. Among the aspects that contribute to the formation of the final judgment, beyond the specific preparation of the student on topics of examination, her/his reasoning ability is also assessed, on the basis of the study that it is conducted independently, which should not be based only on the mnemonic abilities.
The duration of the test, as an oral one, is difficult to define and depends essentially on the degree of preparation and the relative exhibition skills of the student. An average duration of about 20 minutes is conceivable.
The teaching, as established by Manifesto, does not provide for intermediate tests but only a test at the end of the teaching provision. This test has pre-established dates communicated annually to the Secretariats and published via Infostud websites. In any case, the student has the opportunity of a sort of "self-assessment" during the course because "ad hoc moments" of review and questions on the concepts developed are dedicated.
To pass the exam it is need to achieve a grade of not less than 18/30. The student must demonstrate that has acquired sufficient knowledge of the general and special topics
To achieve a score of 30/30 cum laude, the student must instead demonstrate that has acquired excellent knowledge of all the topics covered during the course and she/he is able to connect them in a logical and coherent way.

Exam reservation date start Exam reservation date end Exam date
01/01/2020 17/01/2021 20/01/2021
01/02/2020 13/02/2021 16/02/2021
01/03/2021 12/03/2021 16/03/2021
01/04/2021 10/04/2021 13/04/2021
01/05/2021 08/05/2021 11/05/2021
01/06/2020 12/06/2021 15/06/2021
01/07/2020 16/07/2021 20/07/2021
01/09/2021 11/09/2021 14/09/2021
01/09/2021 30/09/2021 01/10/2021
01/10/2021 17/10/2021 20/10/2021
01/11/2021 20/11/2021 23/11/2021
01/12/2021 09/12/2021 13/12/2021
01/01/2022 15/01/2022 18/01/2022
Course sheet
  • Academic year: 2020/2021
  • Curriculum: Curriculum unico
  • Year: Fourth year
  • Semester: First semester
  • SSD: CHIM/10
  • CFU: 8
  • Attività formative caratterizzanti
  • Ambito disciplinare: Discipline Chimiche, Farmaceutiche e Tecnologiche
  • Lecture (Hours): 64
  • CFU: 8.00
  • SSD: CHIM/10