Vai al contenuto principale

Food security & sustainable food processing


Food security & sustainable food processing

Ornella Abollino (Lecturer)
Gabriele Loris Beccaro (Lecturer)
Cinzia Margherita Bertea (Lecturer)
Livio Favaro (Lecturer)
Giovanni Gamba (Lecturer)
Cecilia Mugnai (Lecturer)
Marco Minella (Lecturer)
Roberto Pettinelli (Lecturer)
Fabrizia Santini (Lecturer)
Barbara Sgorbini (Lecturer)
Irene Stefanini
Gianpiero Vigani (Lecturer)
Cristina Tuni (Lecturer)
Teaching period
Second semester
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
AGR/03 - arboriculture and fruitculture
AGR/20 - aquaculture, poultry and rabbit science
BIO/04 - plant physiology
BIO/15 - pharmaceutical biology
BIO/18 - genetics
BIO/19 - general microbiology
CHIM/01 - analytical chemistry

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The course focuses on the valorization of agrobiodiversity & food security/safety as a common good. This means managing the relationships between animal, microbial, and plant biodiversity, food-chain and human nutrition, through an holistic evaluation of agrifood systems and of other indicators of sustainability such as footprints (ecological, carbon, water) and human and ecological toxicity in terms of residues (heavy metals, pesticides, antibiotics, toxic compounds deriving from food processing).


The aim of the course is to contribute to an interdisciplinary pathway combining agricultural and biological competences characterizing a figure required in international cooperation projects for rural development.


Results of learning outcomes

PhD students will acquire the abilities to: 

  1. understand and analyze complex issues related to the agrifood sector and agroforestry systems
  2. approach with scientific methods strategies to cope with climate change’s predicted impacts, contributing to more resilient agrifood systems
  3. understand diversity of kingdoms, species and genepools that can increase the productivity of farming systems in a range of ecological conditions, thus enhancing food security and safety
  4. take advantage of existing biodiversity, also in order to develop new breeds and varieties that will be able to cope with changing conditions
  5. elaborate rural development strategies in a frame of cooperation with different stakeholders, such as rural communities and politicians
  6. choose the proper approaches to assess the quality of food and detect the presence of contaminants, or demonstrate their absence


The course will be organized in 80 hours, including room lectures, field visits and practical activities. These core activities will be completed with invited speakers from ONG and SUSTNET partner institutions. The course will focus on the following themes:


  1. Sustainable agriculture agroforestry, plant production and its relationships with food security and safety (Beccaro, Gamba and Vigani)
  2. Livestock low input farming systems (Mugnai)
  3. Water potabilization and wastewater treatment (Minella)
  4. Food microbiology: classic and next generation approaches to dissect, control, and exploit microbial populations (Stefanini)
  5. Determination of contaminants in food: quality control and safeguard of consumers' health. Sources of contaminants in food. Sample mineralization prior to trace element determination. Overview of analytical techniques for the determination of inorganic and organic contaminants in food. Traceability of food origin and detection of frauds  (Abollino)
  6. Green sample preparation and analysis in the food field (Sgorbini). Sample preparation approaches, including conventional solvent extraction and non conventional extraction techniques, in particular solvent free techniques. Application of solvent free extraction techniques in the food field.

Course delivery

Online and in-room teaching; filed and on farm visits; seminars; student presentations.


Learning assessment methods

Students will have to prepare and deliver a cooperation project in the field of Food security and safety & sustainable food processing based on a real call for proposals in a UE or non UE frame


Support activities

All members of the PhD board and PhD partners are available to support the students

Suggested readings and bibliography


Scientific papers and books will be recommended during the lectures.

Here is a selection of useful preliminary readings:

Notarnicola, B., Salomone, R., Petti, L., Renzulli, P.A., Roma, R., Cerutti, A.K. (Eds.) 2015 Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-food Sector. Case Studies, Methodological Issues and Best Practices. ISBN 978-3-319-11939-7 Springer, 390 p.

Last update: 27/04/2023 10:11
Non cliccare qui!