Functional foods (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giovanna Felis
Giovanna Felis
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2018 al Jan 31, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course provides students with the fundamental concepts to understand the scientific basis, the regulatory context and the development prospects in the field of functional foods, i.e., those foods that possess particular nutritional properties and which can positively influence the physiological wellbeing and human health.
The expected learning outcomes are:
1. Know the definition of health claim
2. Know the online tools to verify the validity of a claim
3. Know the categories of bioactive compounds
4. Distinguish between probiotics and prebiotics

5. Know how to use online tools to check if the composition of a functional food corresponds to the claimed claim
6. Knowing how to identify the critical elements of the scientific verification of the beneficial effects of a food / compound


Claims and Health Claims. The European reference framework and the international context (FOSHU in Japan, FDA-regulated claims in the US). Reference organizations.
Digestion physiology. Bioactive components and physiological effects; Scientific evidence of the relationship between nutrition and health. Probiotics: Identity, Safety, Identification Techniques, Labeling Issues. Prebiotics. New research prospects: diet and functional foods as a strategy for manipulating intestinal microbiota for human health.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Cozzani Alimentazione e salute (Edizione 1) Piccin 2014 9789929923106
Battistini Pedrazzi Prampolini Curare con il cibo Gli alimenti funzionali nella dietetica e nella dietoterapia (Edizione 1) Carocci Faber 2012 9788874666263
Arienti G. Le basi molecolari della nutrizione (Edizione 4) Piccin 2015 978-88-299-2698-5

Assessment methods and criteria

Examination consists of:
- Written exam with 6 open response questions on course contents
- oral test in which the candidate analyzes the characteristics of a functional food product on the market, and further discussion on the concepts related to the oral and written examination.