Agrifood Innovation Management is a two year Master Degree course.

In addition to the traditional didactic activities (course, workshops, seminars) the course programme includse:

  • a 6 months research project (experimental thesis) in a company focused on the development and optimization of a product innovation or process technology
  • workshops and seminars with industry professionals
  • visits to several companies.

First year

Mandatory courses

Courses Credits

Short cycle breeding and innovative techniques to improve product quality

The aim of the course is to provide students with scientific and technical knowledge regarding the most innovative approaches in short-cycle breeding and aquaculture, for the improvement of animal welfare and nutrition, and organoleptic-sensory quality of products. The course aims to provide knowledge on animal management, as well as advanced techniques and technologies, which make the entire supply chain more competitive. In addition, the topic of animal nutrition will be addressed, being one of the key points to obtain quality products.  At the end of the course, the student will be able to design short-cycle breeding and aquaculture with traditional species and newer introduction, with particular attention to the alpine mountain environment. In addition, the student acquires the basic knowledge on the requirements and nutrition of the main species bred (fish, poultry and rabbit) and to assess in particolar the effect of nutrition on the quality of animal products.

6

Plant physiology applied to agricultural production

The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge on the physiological processes of plan growth and plant nutrition and on the mechanisms of response and adaptation to abiotic stresses of the main fruit and vegetable crops of the alpine environment. Students will be guided to know and develop innovative strategies for the sustainable use of natural resources and for the optimization of plant physiological processes using new approaches for crop irrigation, fertilization and protection against abiotic stresses derived from climate changes (e.g. water stress, low and high temperature stress, nutritional excess and deficiency and multiple stresses). The course will provide expertise on the role of microorganisms in the soil fertility and in the plant adaptation to abiotic stresses, as well as on the application of innovative soil management strategies aimed at maximizing the quality of agrifood production with a sustainable use of resources.

At the end of the course, the student should be able: to describe the defence mechanisms of plants against abiotic stresses and the physiological processes of plant growth and nutrition, to apply innovative methods for the management of agrifood production with a sustainable use of natural resources, to use microbial strains and communities to increase the plant tolerance to abiotic stresses, to exploit and improve the soil microbiological quality with optimised fertilization and irrigation strategies.

6

Improvement in Crop Production

New plant breeding techniques
The course aims to introduce students to the evolutionary processes that led to crop species development for the production of food, from the initial domestication and subsequent diversification of crops to classical plant genetic improvement efforts. Furthermore, students will be guided to learn how new approaches and revolutionary new plant breeding technologies can be applied for enhancing food crop traits through agricultural biotechnology and for designing novel crops. The potential of the most promising genetic technologies for the agri-food sector innovation will be examined in detail using case studies of particular production chains.
Fruit quality improvement and ripening physiology

12

Biopesticides and innovative techniques for plant protection

The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge of the most relevant biotic threats of the main Italian fruit and vegetable crops, and the damage that they may cause. The course will provide expertise on the principles of plant protection strategies and alternative methods to the use of synthetic chemicals, including biological control and integrated pest management, and on the European and national regulations in this field.

The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge of the most relevant biotic threats of the main Italian fruit and vegetable crops, and the damage that they may cause. The course will provide expertise on the principles of plant protection strategies and alternative methods to the use of synthetic chemicals, including biological control and integrated pest management, and on the European and national regulations in this field.

The student should be able, through the skills provided by the course, to identify the most important pathogens and invertebrate pests; To be acquainted with the European regulations on the sustainable use of plant protection products and on the organic agriculture, particularly, on the biopesticide application; To learn pioneering low impact techniques for the management of diseases (biofungicides, botanicals, soft-chemicals) and pests (semiochemicals, natural enemies); To learn the main types of existing bioagrochemicals, their mode of action, their application strategies, the advantages and disadvantages deriving from their application; To be aware of the bioagrochemicals available on the market and their application targets; To select biological, biotechnological and/or physical alternatives to synthetic chemicals for the control of the main diseases and phytophagous pests; To correctly apply the biological, biotechnological and/or physical alternatives; To design a an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy that include the application of biological, biotechnological and/or physical alternatives; To determine the sustainability (social, economic and environmental) of an IPM strategy that includes the application of biological, biotechnological and/or physical alternatives; combine crop protection, environmental sustainability and the productivity of the agri-food industry in the European and national regulatory framework.

6

Food production and processing: physical characteristics and chemical properties of food

Module 1: "The aims of the course are:
  • provide the students with cohomprensive knowledge on the chemical and structural characteristics of the macromolecules in food materials, their properties and their trasformations during processing (in particular the effects of cooking)
  • introduce the main food processing
  • introduce the role of microrganism in the production of food
  • provide knowledge on the alteration and preservation of food
  • introduction to foodborne illness
By the end of the course, the students:
  • will be able to undertsand and describe the mechanisms involved in the modifications of food systems occurring during both processings (both technologycal and microbiological processes) and storage;
  • will be able to use the obtained information at molecular level to decide the right actions to take under control the technological processing, the conservation and the alterations of food;
  • will be able to describe the complex interactions between the components of food and the consequence on its quality.
  • will be able to describe the main foodborne illnes and how prevent them.
Module 2: The aims of the course are:
  • provide the students with knowedge about the properties responsible, or related, to sensory characteristics of food;
  • to familiarize the students, mainly by "hand-on" activities, with several instruments used to measure food properties responsible of the sensory perception of food characteristics (i.e. texture, color, volatile organic compounds).
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • describe the structure of food systems; 
  • identify the characteristics of food responsible of the sensory perception;

12

Agri-food marketing analysis and techniques

 

6

Agri-food law: introductory notions and the regulation of innovation in agri-food law

The aim of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge in the legal field that can be summed up in the following educational goals:
  • understanding the regulation concerning the production and marketing of agri-food products, with a particular focus on the topics connected to the internationalization of the productive and distributive processes
  • advanced knowledge about the protection and promotion of technological innovation, both concerning products and processes, in the agri-food sector, with specific reference to intellectual property and the main modalities for technology transfer.

6

Innovative plants and automation for the agri-food production and transformation

Providing students with in-depth knowledge on machines and plants operation for the production, storage and transformation of agri-food products, and on design and selective criteria with attention to the most innovative aspects.
To acquire knowledge about the physical processes involved and the principles of sensors, control systems and data analysis in particular in the application for the production, storage and transformation of agri-food products.

Students will have a complete view of the problems of rural area, plants and project management.

6

Second year

Mandatory courses

Courses Credits

Sensory quality of agri food products and consumer preference

The aim of the course is to provide the student advanced knowledge and the skills required to analyze the perceivable quality of agrifood products, and interpret and predict consumer responses, with the aim to provide insights to Research, Quality Control and Marketing teams to guide commercial development and communication strategies.
In particular, the following topics will be addressed: 

  • the physiological, psychological and cognitive bases of sensory responses necessary to understand consumer perception, hedonics and behavior; 
  • the main sensory and consumer science methodologies, with particular attention to rapid innovative methods that meet the needs of industries at all stages of a product’s life cycle, from new product development to postlaunch monitoring (to develop new products, to compare competitors on the market, to study product/processing change for product optimization, to monitor shelf life, to control production conformity, to study the product performance on the market).

At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • choose the most suitable sensory techniques to measure the sensory characteristics of the products and /or analyze and predict consumer responses according to the objective and type of the product; 
  • plan and conduct a sensory analysis in compliance with good working practices, analyze the data collected and critically interpret the results, present and discuss the results of sensory assessments and write an analysis report.

6

Methods for traceability, protection and authenticity detection of agri-food products

The course aims to provide the student advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the concepts of analytical traceability, authenticity and adulteration of agri-food products.
Learning outcomes:
  • understand the significance of the concepts of analytical traceability, product authenticity and link with the geographical area, authenticity and adulteration
  • account for methods, techniques and the most innovative instruments used in analytical traceability and authenticity verification
  • Acquire critical views on the concepts of variability factors of the accounted analytical parameters
  • investigate real cases of application of the accounted analytical techniques for tracing the origin and detecting the authenticity of agri-food products
  • be introduced into the plan of analytical controls made by official organisms on agri-food products.

The microbiome of the environment and agri-food products

 

6

Experimental design and sampling plans, statistical tests and programming for the analysis of agri-food and environmental data

The main objective of the course is to provide students with skills necessary to carry out fundamental statistical analyses, that include both experimental design and statistical inference methods, for analyzing agri-food and environmental data. An important part of the course will be dedicated to practical skills using the open source statistical software "R".

It is expected that at the end of the course students will be able to use "R" to carry out statistical analyses using experimental data obtained from case studies.

4

Methods for the management and implementation of the innovation process in the company, entrepreneurship and innovative startups

 

4

 

Elective courses, Internship, final exam

Courses Credits

Elective courses

  • Eco-sustainable methods for the prevention and management of invasive alien species
  • Ecology and epidemiology of ectoparasites of agricultural and health interest with reference to alien species and zoonotic organisms
  • Innovative and sustainable techniques for minor and speciality crops in the Alps
  • Sustainable rural land use and landscape planning
  • Water Resources Management Methods
  • Sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems in relation to global changes and anthropic alterations
  • Tourist destination management 
  • Consumer demand and new trends in consumption and diets
  • Nutritional and nutraceutical characteristics of food and role of nutrients in the diet
  • Novel food production and processing methods (cell cultures, insects, textured vegetable proteins).

12

Internship

2

Final exam

20

 

Aggiornato il
13 May 2020