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Applied Dietary Sciences
First semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

At the end of the training activity, the student should have acquired knowledge and skills related to 1) the effect of diets/foods/nutrients on human physiology, metabolism, and health, 2) the role of foods and diets in providing an adequate intake of energy and nutrients, and 3) the nutritional quality of foods.
Knowledge and understanding skills: Understanding the effect of diets/foods/nutrients on human physiology, metabolism, and health, as well as what are the molecular mechanisms behind the importance of nutrient absorption, metabolism and effects. Knowing the basic concepts of digestive and absorption processes, the quality of the nutrients, and the nutritional characteristics of the main food groups.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Being able to identify what are the nutrients present in a foodstuff, the nutritional quality of that foodstuff, and the role of specific food and diets in the achievement of the nutritional requirements.
Independent judgment: Being able to critically evaluate the quality of nutritional information on diets and foods disseminated by the press, the web and other information sources.
Communication skills: Being able to present scientific studies to support or against a nutritional case study. In addition, discussion with the lecturer will serve to boost the implementation of the knowledge and skills acquired.
Learning skills: Improving or updating his/her own nutrition knowledge through the autonomous use of books, papers, and databases related to this discipline.


Basic knowledge of biochemistry.

Course contents summary

1) Basics of nutrition: Physiology and Metabolism.
2) Structure and functions of the gastrointestinal tract, of liver and pancreas
3) Digestion and absorption of macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins)
4) Nutritional quality of macronutrients
5) Nutritional quality of dietary fibre
6) Nutritional quality of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
7) Water in human nutrition
8) Food groups
9) Dietary requirements and nutritional guidelines

Recommended readings

1. Mariani Costantini, Cannella, Tomassi: ALIMENTAZIONE E NUTRIZIONE UMANA - il Pensiero Scientifico (Roma). Terza edizione, 2016.
2. Rivellese, Annuzzi, Capaldo, Vaccaro, Riccardi: NUTRIZIONE UMANA - Idelson-Gnocchi (Napoli). 2017.
3. Lean, Combet: BARASI’S HUMAN NUTRITION: A HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, Third Edition - CRC Press - Taylor & Francis (Boca Raton, FL), 2017.
4. Ross, Caballero, Cousins, Tucker, Ziegler: MODERN NUTRITION IN HEALTH AND DISEASE, 11 ed. - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (Philadelphia). 2014.
5. Cozzani, Dainese: BIOCHIMICA DEGLI ALIMENTI E DELLA NUTRIZIONE – Piccin (Padova), 2006.
6. Arienti: LE BASI MOLECOLARI DELLA NUTRIZIONE – Piccin (Padova), Quinta edizione, 2021.
7. Pignatti: FONDAMENTI DI ALIMENTAZIONE E NUTRIZIONE UMANA – Esculapio (Bologna). 2020.
8. Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana (SINU): Livelli di Assunzione di Riferimento di Nutrienti ed Energia per la popolazione italiana (LARN), IV revisione. 2014.
9. Crea: Linee guida per una sana alimentazione. 2018.

Teaching methods

The main teaching method consists of frontal lectures, accompanied by exercises (group work for attending students and individual work for non-attending students). Frontal lectures will be carried out on site. Lectures will also be available through the online platform Elly. The didactic material consists mainly of the slides discussed during the lectures, available in Elly. Attendance to the lessons is strongly recommended, as well as the participation to the group works. It is important to highlight the role of Elly as a communication platform between the lecturer and the students. The material used for the lectures will be upload in the platform and will serve for the preparation of the written exam.

Assessment methods and criteria

The additive assessment of the learning is carried out through:

1. Mandatory exercises on a transversal nutrition topic. Exercises for attending students will consist of a group work related to the presentation of a nutrition case study set with the teacher. Exercises for non-attending students will consist of an individual work related to a nutrition case study set with the teacher. The test is evaluated with a scale of 0-4 points.

2. Two options are available: (A) A written test with 28 close questions (multiple response) just before the end of the lectures (by January) (time available, 35 min). If the written test cannot be conducted on site due to force majeure events, it will take place online through the Elly platform, with the tools Lockdown Browser e Respondus active (B). Oral exams will be conducted all along the academic year at the dates indicated through the Esse3 platform for official exams. The oral exam will consist of 4 questions. Maximum question mark for these questions is 7 points. The ability to synthesize and link the topics will be particularly rewarded. Maximum mark for both options (A or B) is 28, while the minimum to pass the exam is 17 points. Please note that the online registration for the exam is compulsory.

The final grade is obtained from the sum of the marks of both tests (1+2) (in thirtieths). Honors (lode) are granted when reaching the maximum mark and demonstrating a deep knowledge of the topic vocabulary.