Nanotechnologies in the food industry

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge related to nanotechnologies together with practical and applicative examples concerning the food sector. The aim of the course is also to provide students with the concepts related to the most common analytical techniques applied to "nano" systems. Finally, the course aims to provide students with the knowledge for a critical analysis of potential and risks associated with nanoparticles on consumer health, providing knowledge also on current legislation.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to apply the main technical-analytical and methodological aspects for the characterization of nonoparticles in the food sector. Students will also be able to choose the most appropriate nanotechnological applications depending on the type of food in the current legislation.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
1) Program
No changes will be made during the emergency period.

2) Supporting material
Besides the ordinary supporting material (slides, book and literature references), students will be provided with additional scientific papers and URL to relevant websites. All supporting material will be uploaded in the teacher's website.

3) Teaching modes
All classes will take place remotely (synchronous mode) using MS Teams.

4) Final exams will take place remotely, according to the procedure foreseen during the ordinary period.
Course syllabus
The course includes an initial part dedicated to the historical development of nanotechnologies from the early achievements in the 50s up to the current discoveries and applications. Afterwards, the most important 'key-words' pertaining to the nanotechnology field will be introduced, so that fundamental concepts (e.g., nanostructures and nanosystems) can be elucidated. The most relevant applications of nanotechnology belonging to different fields of the food sector (e.g., nutrition, manufacturing/processing, security, safety, and packaging) will be also discussed. The potential benefits arising from the nanotechnologies, as well as the potential risks associated to their applications, especially under a consumer's perspective, will be then presented. The final part of the course will be devoted to the reference regulations within the European legislative framework.
Specifically, the course will develop according to the following topics:
- Introduction: definition of the goals and general information
- Nanotechnologies from the 50s to today
- Definitions, nomenclature and key-words
- Intermolecular interactions and supramolecular structures
- Nanotechnologies in the food sector - Applications
· Nutrition
· Food manufacturing and processing
· Food security
· Food safety
· Food packaging materials
- Main instrumental techniques related to 'nano' systems
- Potential of nanotechnologies and risks for the consumers
- Legislative framework
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of chemistry and physics.
Teaching methods
Classes will be delivered partly in presence and partly remotely using the Microsoft Teams platform according to the calendar issued by the University of Milano. Lessons will be recorded and made available in Ariel. Lab classes will be given remotely, partly in an asynchronous mode and partly in a synchronous mode to discuss publications and case studies using the Microsoft Teams platform.

Information on the organization of the classes will be always made available in Ariel: students are thus encouraged to have a look regularly.

Depending on the evolution of the outbreak and according to the temporary relevant regulations about COVID-19, modification of the above indications could take place. Students will be straightaway informed by Ariel.
Teaching Resources
Slides of the course.

1) Nanotechnology in the Agri-Food Sector. Edited by L. J. Frewer, W. Norde, A. R. H. Fischer, F. W. H. Kampers. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., 2011.

Scientific papers.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam will include an oral interview. The final grade will be expressed in /30ths. The oral exam is deemed in line with the expected learning outcomes because it will serve the purpose to verify the comprehension and use of the students of the main analytical and methodological tools for the characterization of 'nano' systems in the food sector, while evaluating the learning process related to a specific nanotechnology application and the related knowledge gained by the student according to a critical and aware thinking way.
AGR/15 - FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - University credits: 4
Laboratories: 8 hours
Lessons: 28 hours
Professor: Farris Stefano
By appointment
Office (Building 21040 - entrance below the metallic staircase to Aula 4 - ground floor)