HERBS, SPICES AND NERVINE PLANTS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to: understand information regarding the cultivation, transformation and conservation techniques, genetics and qualitative properties of the different types of crops studied;
possess the basic tools to evaluate the production systems and products of the different types of plants covered by the course, also in relation to knowledge learned in other teaching courses; assess the reliability of the information provided by various sources in full autonomy, and express own evaluation and criticisms in an effective and scientifically correct way.
Knowledge on biology and plant production
Course contents summary
The course is organised in two parts. The first one (General Part) deals with the general framework for the different types of crops presented in the course, with come recalls of biology, agronomy and plant post-harvest and conservation. A second part (Special Part) will be about specific topics such as biology, cultivation and qualitative characteristics of the main aromatic and condimental plants, spices and nervine plants.
-Definition of aromatic plants, spices and nervine plants; Historical information about spices;
- Aromatic plants and their supply chain: cultivation and processing, market, critical factors;
- Factors affecting quality: genetic, agronomic (cultivation, harvest), post-harvesting and conservation;
- Secondary metabolites: main classes and their role in plant and food; essential oils: physical and organoleptic properties, extraction methods, uses;
- Quality and safety control of herb, spices and nervine plants and their products.
- Aromatic plants and spices (examples among: cinnamom, cloves, hop, mint, nutmeg, origan, pepper, chili pepper, rosemary, saffron);
- Nervine plants (e.g. cocoa, coffee, the, mate);
For each species the following aspects will be considered:
- botanicals: morphology, anatomy and physiology, with particular reference to the parts used as food and to the processes related to their formation on the plant itself;
- genetic and qualitative: origin and distribution of species, subspecies and varieties, and their acclimatization and quality characteristics;
- cultivation: the prevailing cultivation techniques, and their effects on the quantity and quality of production;
- transformation and conservation: limited to the techniques adopted in farms and food companies to condition and preserve the products;
- Market overview.
PowerPoint presentations given by the teacher to be integrated by personal notes taken during the lectures, the material uploaded on the Elly platform and/or by consulting the following texts:
- Alessandro Bruni - Biologia Farmaceutica (Biologia vegetale, Botanica farmaceutica, fitochimica), ed. PEARSON;- Calogero Rinallo – Piante Alimentari, ed. PICCIN; - Francesco Basso - Piante officinali, aromatiche e medicinali. Aspetti bioagronomici, aromatici e fitoterapici , ed. PITAGORA; - Baldoni R., Giardini L., 2000 - Coltivazioni erbacee. Pàtron, Bologna (Vol. II, Piante oleifere da zucchero, da fibra e aromatiche; - Sigmund Rehm, Gustav Espig, 1997. La coltivazione delle piante tropicali e subtropicali coltivazione, importanza economica, utilizzazione. Ed EDAGRICOLE.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral exam. The exam will be organized as a series of open questions on the subjects addressed in class. In particular, in addition to verifying the acquisition of basic knowledge, the ability to connect the general part with one or more individual species discussed during the course will be evaluated. Registration for the test takes place online through the ESSE3 SYSTEM.
The oral exam, if carried out remotely, will be carried out on the MS Teams platform.
The activities will take place in streaming through the use of the Teams and Elly platforms. Lessons will be recorded for any asynchronous use. Lessons will be held in both synchronous (via Teams) and asynchronous mode (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). During the lessons in synchronous mode (direct), mainly frontal moments will alternate with interactive moments with the students. To promote active participation in the course, various individual and small group activities will be proposed, through the use of the resources available in Elly, such as discussion forums or logbooks.