Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2019/2020 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luca Giorgi
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Nutritional Science (L-29)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The main objective of the thing is the knowledge of the molecular structure and properties of the substances that make up food. In particular, the chemical aspects (reactivity, chemical-physical properties) of the compounds will be investigated, highlighting the relationships that exist between the structure (size of the molecule, functional groups, stereochemical aspects) and the properties of the substance or class of substances under examination. The student will realize how the microscopic properties of molecules determine and influence the marosopic properties of the foods that contain them. The course will NOT deal with the metabolic fate of substances, an aspect that is explored in the food biochemistry module.


01. Introduction to the course. Foods and nutrients. Foods that provide energy and foods that do not provide energy. Energy balance.
02.Glucides. Classification of carbohydrates: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides. Stereochemistry, optical activity, monosaccharide nomenclature.
03. Monosaccharides. Reactivity, hemiacetal cyclic form, anomers, mutarotation. Main monosaccharides present in food: D (+) - glucose, D (-) - fructose, D (+) - galactose, L (-) - sorbose.
04. Oligosaccharides: maltose, cellobiose, sucrose, lactose, trehalose. Polysaccharides: starches and cellulose. Dietary fiber.
05. Sweeteners.
06. Lipids. Saponifiable and unsaponifiable lipids. Fatty acids: saturated, unsaturated, substituted, essential.
07. Oxidation of fats: hydrolytic and oxidative rancidity. Autooxidation and photooxidation. Antioxidants.
08. Saponifiable lipids: triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols, waxes.
09. Non saponifiable lipids: Hydrocarbons, tocopherols and tocotrienols, aliphatic, terpenic alcohols and sterols.
10. Phospholipids and glycolipids.
11. Protides. Amino acids, polypeptides, proteins. Structure of proteins. Physico-chemical properties of proteins.
12. Nutritional and functional aspects of proteins.
13. Minerals. Ca, Mg, K, Na, S, Cl, P, Co, Cr, Fe, F, I, Mn, Mo, Cu, Se, Zn.
14. Vitamins. Fat-soluble (A, D2, D3, E, K1, K2, K3) and water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B12, BC, C).
14. Vitamin A and carotenoids.
15. Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
16. B complex vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3 or PP), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B8), cyanocobalamin (B12), folic acid (BC) .
17. Vitamin C.
18. Water. Physico-chemical characteristics. Water activity. Classification and properties of water intended for human consumption.
19. Compounds responsible for the organoleptic characteristics (smell, taste, color) of food.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

  • D1 - Knowledge and understanding. The student will have to know in depth the structures of the chemical compounds contained in food and be able to understand their functional aspects, such as solubility or insolubility in water, acid-base properties, stereochemical aspects and general reactivity of the functional groups that contain. These abilities will be evaluated through an oral question in which it will be asked to represent the structure of a class of compounds of nutritional interest and to comment on their chemical-physical properties.
  • D2 - Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. The student must be able to correctly use chemical terminology and structural formulas, both stereochemical and non-stereochemical. It must therefore be able to recognize a molecule or a class of molecules by their structure. These skills will be assessed through the oral exam.
  • D3 - Autonomy of judgment. The student will have to be able to critically evaluate the role of the substances that make up a food, above all he will have to be able to predict if that substance can be dissociated into simpler substances and in which ones, and if these substances can interact with others. These skills will be tested during the oral exam by evaluating how the student behaves in front of a practical problem not specifically addressed in class.
  • D4 - Communication skills. The student must be able to describe the molecules and chemical-physical phenomena learned during the course expressing themselves clearly, with appropriate terms and with appropriate examples.
  • D5 - Learning skills. The student must be able to construct his / her scientific growth path in a critical and autonomous way, being able to correctly use the study material provided by the teacher and the in-depth material that he himself can obtain. These skills, as far as possible, will be stimulated by the teacher by proposing insights and providing problems to be solved at home during the course, which will then be explained and discussed during the lessons or the hours of support activities.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Course books

Primo testo: Patrizia Cappelli, Vanna Vannucci, "Principi di chimica degli alimenti", Zanichelli, Bologna. [ISBN 978-88-08-62123-8] Il corso tratta i capitoli 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Secondo testo: Paolo Cabras, Aldo Martelli, "Chimica degli alimenti", Piccin, Padova. [ISBN 978-88-299-1696-2] Il corso tratta i capitoli 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29.

Lettura interessante: Hervè This, "I segreti della pentola", Jaka Book, [ISBN 978-88-16-37105-7] Simple and very pleasant reading on the chemical processes that occur during food preparation.

« back Last update: 29/03/2021

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