Food chemistry, nutraceuticals and functional foods (2020/2021)

Course code
Gianni Zoccatelli
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 5 II semestre Gianni Zoccatelli

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laboratorio 1 II semestre Gianni Zoccatelli

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Learning outcomes

Assuming a basic knowledge of food chemistry, the course aims to study the biological activity of a series of substances present in the diet that can positively or negatively influence human health. These substances can be naturally present in the raw materials (e.g. polyphenols, carotenoids, glucosinolates etc.) or be of exogenous origin (e.g. mycotoxins, heavy metals etc.). It will be analyzed in depth how the molecules are modified following the processes of transformation and preservation of food and how the latter are able to generate additional bioactive substances (e.g. acrylamide). The mechanisms of interaction between these molecules and the human organism will be investigated by evaluating case by case the bioaccessibility and the bioavailability of the same and the methodological approaches used to characterize their biological activity and their physico-chemical properties. Modern approaches and technologies for the stabilization (i.e. encapsulation) of nutraceutical molecules will then be studied in depth to produce enriched functional ingredients and foods. Space will also be given to the analysis of current legislation on labeling and nutritional and health claims. At the end of the course the student will be able to understand the complexity of the relationships between the chemical nature and the biological activity towards the human body of many of the substances present in our diet according to the processes of transformation and preservation of food. The student will have the knowledge to intervene with chemical and (bio) technological approaches in order to prevent or facilitate the chemical reactions that underlie the formation or modification of these substances in order to improve food safety and the technological, nutritional and healthy quality of foods, functional foods and food supplements.