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Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Università degli Studi di Milano
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Plant Food
Code: G300PA
Teacher:  Anna Spinardi
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5
Basic aims:  The main topic of the class is to understand the nutritional, biochemical, and physical traits of produces. To study the commercial techniques and procedures to preserve and evaluate quality and avoid postharvest losses.
Acquired skills:  The “Plant food” class offers the skills to be able to manage fresh produces with the best quality and food safety.
Course contents:  "Plant Food" class covers the biological aspects –composition, nutritive value, structure, morphology, growth and development- of pome, stone, soft fruits, grapes, citrus and leaf, fruit, stem, root, tuber vegetables, ornamentals and cut flowers. The commercial techniques and procedures to mantain, preserve and evaluate quality will also considered.
Program:  GENERAL BIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Postharvest losses in horticultural commodities. Biological aspects –composition, nutritive value, structure, morphology, growth and development- of pome, stone, soft fruits, grapes, citrus and leaf, fruit, stem, root, tuber vegetables, ornamentals and cut flowers. RIPENING PHYSIOLOGY Respiration: definitions, characterisation of process, measurements, factors affecting, comparative rates, biological significance;Traspiration: definitions, characterisation of process, measurements, factors affecting, comparative rates, biological significance;Role of plant hormones in senescence. Ethylene and fruit ripening: biosynthesis, factors affecting production rate;Physiological disorders: symptoms and causes;Pathological diseases: host-parasite-environmental relationship, infection processes, disease control methods. COMPOSITION AND QUALITY:Compositional changes: carbohydrates, organic acids, pectic substances, lipids, aminoacid, protein, phenolics, mineral content, pigments, vitamins.Quality and its components. COMMERCIAL PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES. Maturity and quality standards, standardisation and inspection. Standard (fisical, chemical, sensorial and microbiological) and innovative (NIR, laser,electronic nose, image analysis) methods for quality assesment.Harvesting and handling systems for fresh market or processing.Temperature technologies and control, cooling and storage systems.Transportation and distribution: methods and principles.Controlled and modified atmosferes during storage and transit. COMMODITY: Pome fruits, stone fruits, citrus, grapes, soft fruits, kiwi, tropical fruits, ornamentals. MINIMALLY PROCESSED PRODUCTS:Process, physiology and quality. PRACTICALS: Quality assesment. TECHNICAL TOURS:-Milano wholsale produce market.-Fresh cut factory.
Prerequisites:  Biology
Preparatory instructions:  Biology
Learning materials:  KAYS S.J. and Paull R.E. 2004. Postharvest Biology. Exon Press. Athens, GA Kader A.(editor). 2002. Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops. University of California ANR . Pub. n. 3311. Terza edizione. AKAYS S.J. 1991. Postharvest Physiology of Perishable Plant Products. AVI. SEYMOUR G.B., TAYLOR J.E., TUCKER A. 1993. Biochemistry of Fruit Ripening. Chapman et al.

The material provided by the teacher is available on Ariel
Other info:  Final written test.
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Program of Plant Food (pdf version)
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