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FacoltÓ di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari UniversitÓ degli Studi di Milano
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Cereal products: traditional and innovative technologies
Code: G6007-
Teacher:  Maria Ambrogina Pagani
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5
Practices in laboratory:  0,5
Other: 0,5
Basic aims:  To examine the characteristics of cereals and their transformation into raw materials and final products using both "conventional" and innovative technologies. The primary goal of the course is understanding the changes of the main macromolecules present in cereals occurring during the technological processes. The role of these macromolecular modifications on the physical, structural and sensory properties of food is also investigated.
Acquired skills:  The course enables students to acquire the following skills: Understanding of the structural characteristics of the sectors examined. Knowledge of the physical and chemical factors that determine the quality of the grain and the criteria used to define classes of commercial quality. Knowledge of the parameters that define the "technological" quality of a raw material. Ability to interpret technical specifications. Knowledge of technological conditions to apply to each phase of a production process in order to induce positive changes on the components for the final product quality, minimizing the negative ones. Knowledge of the parameters that define the yield of a process (milling, bread, pasta).
Course contents:  Information on: i) the cereal sector organization; ii) the principal technological processes; iii) the final products and by-products, focusing on the compositive, structural, sensory and butritional properties.
The durum wheat and common wheat chains are deeply investigated as they represent the main crops (for agronomic, technological and economic rilevance) of the Italian agro-food sector.
Program:  Program
RAW MATERIALS: CEREALS The international and national cereal sector: structure, market and the major issues. Morphological, physical and chemical properties of the kernel of major cereal crops. The pseudocereals and immature grains: similarities and differences with cereals. Indices of quality and their evaluation, comparison of conventional and organic farming products. Criteria of (technological, commercial, etc..) classification for wheat and other cereals in Italy and worldwide. The major macromolecules in the grains: chemical, physical and structural features. Genomic and proteomic approaches for the improvement and the definition of the raw material quality. Problems associated to cereal grain storage. The phenomenon of germination: control and prevention.
PRODUCTION OF SEMI-FINISHED PRODUCTS The milling sector in Italy. Description of the processes of wheat milling: differences between common and durum wheat milling diagrams. The milling of other cereals (corn, etc..). Assessment of technological/rheological properties of flours. Innovation of first processing processes (hulling, parboiling, etc..). Yield and process optimization. The wet milling to produce starch. The micronization and airclassification of flours. By-products utilization and enhancement: recovery of interesting components for secondary processing and / or for energy purposes industries.
FINISHED-PRODUCTS PRODUCTION Pasta. The pasta-making process for dry pasta: flow-sheet, the kneading, extrusion, and drying steps; macroscopic and molecular phenomena related to pasta-makimg. Technological innovations. Mass balance and production yields. The production of fresh pasta: main differences with the technological process for dried pasta. Cooking pasta: phenomena and their intensity, evaluation of cooked pasta quality, by conventional (subjective and instrumental) and advanced methods.
Bread and other leavened products: Classification. Dough characteristics: the role of water, flour macromolecular components and other ingredients, improvers and enzymes; mode of/types of kneading. The proofing and the formation of a crumb structure. Cooking: stabilization of the structure. The phenomena related to bread aging (staling), their evaluation and slowing. Product (low glycemic index breads, fiber-enriched breads, etc.) and processing (continuous processes, with use of pre-ferment, frozen bread production, etc..) innovations.
Processing of gluten-free cereals (maize, rice, sorghum) and pseudocereals in products such as bread and pasta.
Prerequisites:  None
Preparatory instructions:  None
Learning materials:  Slides (printed or electronic copy) presented during the lessons. Other documents (published papers, website links etc.) on specific subjects recommended by the teacher.
Other info:  The exam (upon appointment with the professor) is formed by a short report (dealing with subjects chosen by the student in agreement with the teacher) and an oral exam.
Important information for completing the knowledge on cereal sector are given in the free-choise courses (4 CFU each): Gestione integrata degli infestanti per la qualitÓ e lasicurezza degli alimenti - Micro e macro struttura degli alimenti
Program of Cereal products: traditional and innovative technologies (pdf version)
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