Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
Knowledge in Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology
Frontal lessons (5 credits, 40 hours) and practical lessons in laboratory (1 credit, 8 hours). During the lectures group discussions on scientific papers previously submitted to class as printed or electronic material, short presentations of students to explore themes that will attract particular interest, numerical exercises, instructions for laboratory practical works will be held.
At the end of the Course, students will know the main algae involved in human nutrition, their biochemical composition, modern biotechnologies for the production and refining of the algal biomass for food use. Students will know also the risks of food contamination by algal biotoxins, the main seafood acting as vectors, and the prevention and control methods.
Ability to apply the knowledge:
Students will be able to propose the best use of algal biomass in food diets, and to evaluate the risk of food contamination by algal biotoxins, avoiding the risk of biointoxications.
Performing laboratory analysis, scientific paper discussion in groups and short presentation or brief insights on specific learning objectives of interest, help to improve the students' communication skills, learning and critical abilities in an autonomous and self-guided way.
The algal biotoxin problem. Toxic microalgae and the most important biointoxications.
• Diarrheitc Shellfish Poisoning (DSP)
• Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)
• Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP)
• Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP)
• Azaspiracids, cyclic imines
• Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP)
• Cyanobacteria toxins (epatotoxins, neurotoxins, irritative toxins)
Toxic microalgae. Main vector organisms. The contamination of seafood and drinkable waters. Chemical structure of biotoxins and action mechanism. Symptoms of biointoxications. Geographical distribution. Risk evaluation. Notes on legislation: threshold values. Monitoring and prevention methods
Laboratory (both modules) - Techniques for microalgae cultivation; identification of micro and macroalgae; extraction and determination of photosynthetic pigments.
Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists of an oral interview with at least six questions (three each module). Each question is given a score between zero and thirty. Oral exam grade is calculated as the average of the scores. The exam is passed when the final grade is greater than or equal to 18.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
The student must demonstrate to know the main algae involved in human nutrition, their biochemical composition, modern biotechnologies for the production and refining of the algal biomass for food use. Students must also demonstrate to know the risks of food contamination by algal biotoxins, the main seafood acting as vectors, and the prevention and control methods.
Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark is awarded out of thirty. The exam is passed when the grade is greater than or equal to 18. The highest mark with honors (30 cum laude) is also expected to be awarded.
Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final mark is given by adding the oral exam grade to the grade (up to a maximum of two points) resulting from the class work done during the course. The highest honors are attributed when the score obtained from the previous sum exceeds the value of 30 e when the student has demonstrated full mastery of the subject.
Bibliography cited in teaching slides and notes during the course.
Manual on Harmful Marine Algae. Hallegraeff G.M., Anderson D.M., Cembella A.D. (Eds.) 2003. UNESCO Publishing, 794 p.