NATURAL ORGANIC SUBSTANCES IN FOOD
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
1) Know which natural organic substances are present in food, how they
are analyzed, and what are their properties (Knowledge and
2) Evaluate the health, toxicological and sensorial properties of natural
organic substances contained in food (Applying knowledge and
3) Communicate in a scientifically correct manner the health,
toxicological and sensory properties of natural organic substances
contained in food, even to a non-expert public (Communication skills).
4) Evaluate the properties of a food, according to the natural organic
substances contained in it (Making judgments)
5) Consult texts with a high technical-scientific content in order to
formulate judgments of merit on the
No official pre-requisite is requested. In order to proficially attend the
course, a good knowledge of basic organic and food chemistry is srongly
Course contents summary
The course is divided into several chapters that will deal with the
mechanisms of secondary metabolism that lead to the formation of
natural substances in foods, that will be discussed and elucidated
through lectures. Additionally, as an integral part of the course, few
laboratory experiences will be carried out, allowing students to
experience first-hand the extraction and the characterization techniques
for natural substances in food.
-Paul M. Dewick, Chimica, Biosintesi e Bioattività delle Sostanze Naturali,
Ed. Piccin, Padova
-Material provided by the teacher (scientific notes and articles)
Lectures take place through power point presentations, transparencies
and on the blackboard. Discussions of scientific publications and
European regulations will also be held in the classroom. The course is
completed by four laboratories (15 hours in total), organized on 5
repetitions of 20 persons each, aimed at the extraction and
characterization of organic substances in food. The participation to at
least 3 laboratories is compulsory to be allowed to sustain the exam.
Lectures will be organized in presence, with the possibility to attend them
also from distance both in asynchronous way (saved on the Elly website of the course).
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam is made by a written test containing a series of problems that
are proposed to the students' solution.
Participation in the test is possible ONLY after registration through the
ESSE3 system. Students not officially registered will not be admitted to
take the test. There will be 8 test sessions per year.
The test consists of exercises that cover the whole program, both
practical and theoretical, and exercises on laboratory experiences. The
time for the test is 3 hours.
During the test the student can withdraw, and in this case the task is not
corrected and the result will be recorded in the ESSE3 system as
The results of the written test will be published on ESSE3 and each
student will receive an email with the result.
The test is considered passed and the grade can be officially recorded if
the grade of the test is equal to or higher than 18. In case of a grade
lower than 18, the test will have to be repeated.
In the event of a grade equal to or greater than 18, the student has two
- Accept the vote received, which will then be officially recorded.
- Reject the vote using the option in ESSE3, and repeat the exam.
Attention: the refusal must be explicit, the silence-assent rule applies.
Laboratory activities will be certified by the delivery of a lab notebook that will be prepared by each student accoridng to the teacher indications. The notebook should be delivered to the teacher at least one week before the exam. If is not delivered, the student will not allowed to attend the exam.
All slides and other materials used in class are provided to students at
the beginning of the course, via the ESSE3 system.
In the same site, the students will find all the exercises that will be
discussed in the classroom exercises, as well as all the written tests of
the two previous years, as a further exercise.
Le esperienze di laboratorio riguarderanno:
1) Estrazione di eugenolo e metileugenolo da spezie, e loro
caratterizzazione e quantificazione con GC/MS
2) Discriminazione di caffè varietà robusta da arabica mediante
estrazione del metilcafestolo ed analisi NMR
3) Estrazione del licopene da derivati del pomodoro e sua quantificazione
mediante UV- Vis
4) Estrazione di LTP (principale allergene) da pesca e sua identificazione
mediante LC/MSThe lecturer talks with the students for clarifications and discussions at
the end of the lessons, and is also available to provide further clarification
in his office, following an e-mail appointment.
In case of public health emergency the modalities for lecturing,
laboratories and exams might be modified. All changes will be timely
communicated on Elly website and/or on the site of the course.