This bachelor degree provides technical and operational skills, to perform the following tasks: production control and management; processing, preservation and distribution of food and beverages, also with reference to special foods, supplements, functional foods, ingredients, enzymes, technological adjuvants, food additives and flavorings. In addition, the graduate in Food Science and Technology will be able to introduce process and product innovations.
During the three years training, the students develop skills and abilities focused on:
- theoretical and technical knowledge consistent with a complete view of the activities and topics regarding production and marketing of food and beverages (the entire supply chain from raw materials to distribution and consumption);
- problem solving skills, with reference to a specific field of activity, defining its features and examining possible solutions and methods;
- adequate knowledge of a foreign language and of basic elements for communication and information management.
In addition, the bachelor course in Food Science and Technology provides the bases for access to related master degree programs concerning the food sector.
This goal is achieved through activities in the following training areas:
a) basic disciplines, such as mathematics, physic, chemistry and biology, as common fundaments on experimental sciences, for incoming students with different background as necessary toolkit to cope with applied disciplines;
b) disciplines of food technologies, which will introduce the student more specifically to the knowledge of the physical, chemical and technological elements underlying the unitary operations of the agro-food industry; the product and technological quality of primary products from agriculture and livestock; production technologies of the main vegetable and animal preserves and semi-preserves; the microbiological aspects involved in food processing;
c) food safety and evaluation disciplines, which will provide knowledge related to the chemical, microbiological and nutritional characteristics of food, the techniques for analyzing food constituents, as well as the processes that guarantee the conservation and delivery of food at the table in conditions of hygienic safety and integrity of the nutritional value;
d) economic and legal disciplines, which will place the learner in the socio-economic context of the training objective, with its rules and regulations, and provide the basic concepts of the marketing function;
e) other activities: in this learning area are included the practical activities that have the main objective of developing the ability to apply knowledge and understanding (Training and Orientation and preparation of the final paper), the didactic activities related to the acquisition of the language skills required by current legislation and the didactic activities freely chosen by the student.
Within the didactic structure described above, the training course includes:
- a strong integration between the lessons taught to encourage the development of a multidisciplinary and integrated vision of the problems concerning the agro-food chains;
- the use of diversified teaching forms and materials which, in addition to the lectures and the most up-to-date reference texts for the various disciplines, include critical reading and discussion of scientific articles, conducting laboratory exercises and active participation seminars and workshops also organized with the collaboration of companies and professionals in the agro-food sector;
- the broad use of technological learning platforms, such as LMS (Learning Management System), for the development of "blended" training courses, in which traditional classroom training is integrated with the most innovative IT technologies
Generic profile: Food process and product engineer
Function in a work context:
With the skills acquired and developed during the course of study, the graduate in Food Science and Technology can independently carry out the following tasks:
- Specialist technician in the implementation of self-control systems
- Process technician (management of machines and small plants for the production of food and drinks)
- Laboratory technician for chemical and microbiological analysis on food matrices
- Specialist technician in the definition of standards and specifications for raw materials, semi-finished products, ingredients
- Specialist technician in the evaluation of the health and quality of food and drinks
It can also work alongside other professionals and collaborate:
- Study, design, management, surveillance, management and testing of agro-food systems;
- Market research and related activities in relation to food production;
- research and development of new processes and products in the food sector;
- the study, design, surveillance and management for activities relating to collective catering in company canteens,
public, hospital and in any type of canteen and restaurant service.
The student develops the skills necessary to carry out management, management and quality assessment tasks in a fully autonomous way, as well as for inspections with a legal nature, are entrusted to a masterful training aimed at acquiring the skills of the Food Technologist, in accordance with current legislation.
Skills associated with the function:
The skills developed during the course of study that are the one usually exercised by the graduate in Food Science and Technology in carrying out the tasks indicated above, including:
- ability to correctly describe the processes (food and drink production, collective catering systems) using flowcharts and to apply mass and energy balances, risk analysis procedures and self-control plans;
- ability to understand the cause-effect relationships between process variables and qualitative characteristics of the finished product;
- ability to evaluate and interpret monitoring data of process variables;
- ability to perform field sampling and laboratory analysis (chemical, microbiological, animal parasites) of food samples;
- ability to identify and plan the laboratory analyzes necessary to ascertain the quality and safety parameters of food products;
- ability to carry out basic technical consultancy in the food sector (quality assessment; assessment of compliance with legal requirements; definition of standards and specifications for raw materials, semi-finished products, ingredients);
- ability to use methodological and technological tools for the continuous updating of one's knowledge;
- ability to interact effectively and productively with interlocutor’s representative of the different and specific skills involved in the agro-food chains (engineer, biologist, chemist, nutritionist, administrator).
The expected job opportunities include access to:
- companies that, at different levels, deal with the production, transformation, conservation and distribution of food and drinks;
- wineries, breweries and olive oil companies;
- companies connected to the agro-food sector (production and marketing of machines, plants and services);
- public and private organizations that carry out, for various reasons, planning, analysis, control, certification and scientific investigations for the protection and enhancement of food production (Department of Agriculture, Chambers of Commerce, national and regional services and agencies operating in the agro-food sector);
- hotels, restaurants and service companies for collective catering (canteens, schools, hospitals, catering);
- professional organizations (Federalimentare, agricultural organizations, etc.).
The competencies developed allow the access to the State exams for the following professions:
- "Doctor of Agronomy and Forestry junior"
- "Agrotecnico graduate"
Moreover, the graduate student can continue the academic training by enrolling on a Master Degree.